Post-Operative Vision Loss
Post-operative vision loss is an unusual surgical complication. It happens more often after cardiac, spine, neck, and head surgery as well as certain orthopedic surgeries than in other procedures. Causes of permanent post-operative vision loss are cerebral vision loss, ischemic optic neuropathy, and central retinal artery occlusion. If you suspect that your post-operative vision loss was the result of an error on the part of your healthcare providers, the Ocala medical malpractice attorneys of the Dean Law Firm can help you determine whether you have a claim.What is Post-Operative Vision Loss?
Postoperative vision loss is rare, and it doesn't always happen in response to medical malpractice. Most commonly it is caused by corneal abrasion. However, it can also be the result of injuries at any spot in the visual pathway. The pathway runs from the cornea to the occipital lobe. Sometimes the physiology of post-operative vision loss is not understood completely. Post-operative vision loss has a range. It can range from blurring to lost vision or permanent bilateral blindness.What Causes Post-Operative Vision Loss?
Although it is rare, postoperative vision loss is a complication that sometimes occurs when surgery is conducted with the patient in a prone position. It's not known precisely why this happens, but the complication can be related to a patient staying in surgery for a long period, getting overhydrated, or suffering hypotension.Surgical Malpractice
In order to establish that your post-operative vision loss was the result of medical malpractice in surgery, you will need to prove it's more likely than not: (1) you had a doctor-patient relationship, (2) the doctor failed to meet the professional standard of care during the surgery (3) this failure caused your post-operative vision loss and (4) actual damages. Usually it's straightforward to show a doctor-patient relationship. However, you'll need to retain an expert on the issue of what the professional standard of care was under the circumstances and prove that the doctor failed to meet it.
The expert must usually be in the same specialty as the defendant. If the defendant is a surgeon, it is advisable to retain a board-certified surgeon as your expert. A witness is not allowed to give expert testimony about the prevailing professional standard of care except where that person is a healthcare provider with an active, valid license who has performed a complete review of the relevant medical records and meets other criteria. Often medical malpractice cases turn into battles of experts. Therefore, it is crucial to work with an attorney who understands how credibly and well an expert performs at trial.Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case
Sometimes it is also necessary to hire an expert or several experts to testify regarding damages. The amount of available damages depends on the degree and effects of the post-operative vision loss. These damages can be economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are tangible, often documented losses. Noneconomic losses are more subjective and can vary dramatically based on the nature of the injuries and the jury's evaluation of how those injuries are likely to impact your life. Compensatory damages may include medical bills, medical equipment, lost income, lost earning capacity, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment. Where, for example, a plaintiff experiences a complete and permanent loss of vision, the damages may be higher than if she experiences minor blurring.
In very rare situations of egregious misconduct by a healthcare provider, punitive damages may be awarded. These are damages awarded to punish the defendant and deter future similar wrongdoing.Consult a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney in Ocala
At the Dean Law Firm, our aggressive Ocala lawyers understand how challenging it is to deal with the bills and lost wages associated with post-operative vision loss. We may be able to help you recover damages from a professionally negligent physician, nurse, or other healthcare provider, and it's important to talk to an attorney about your situation. We represent patients who have suffered as a result of medical negligence all throughout Florida, including those in The Villages, Crystal River, and Lake, Levy, Citrus, Sumter, and Marion Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or through our online form.