What can I do if I underwent a cataract surgery and during the surgery I woke up on the table unable to talk but could feel everything for a few minutes?

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What can I do if I underwent a cataract surgery and during the surgery I woke up on the table unable to talk but could feel everything for a few minutes?

I woke up and felt everything for a few minutes until they noticed that I was awake and put me back under. During this time I felt them pushing the needle with the thread through my eye and yanking it out. I felt the thread going through my eye and just wished I was dead. To this day I have flashbacks of that moment and I am afraid of anyone getting to close to my eye to the point that I flip out..This really has impacted my life and I am wondering if I can sue for pain and suffering? I am 25 and I believe that I have PTSD due to this.

Asked on April 27, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be able to sue, but it will be very difficult:

1) First, you'd need medical evidence/support for the fact that this gave you PTSD--it's not enough that you think it did.  So you'd need go through some course of counseling and/or testing and get some pyschiatric diagnosis that you have PTSD and this was the cause.

2) Second, even if it did give you PTSD, you'd also have to prove that the medical team (e.g. the anestheologist) was negligent, or unreasonably careless. That is, they have to have made some signfiicant mistake. It is possible that they did everything within accepted standards of medical care and you happened to wake up on the table--sometimes, bad things happen to patients even if the doctors did everything ritht. If that's the case, they would not be liable and you could not recover money--you can only get combination if you show that the doctors did something wrong. This would require more medical expert testimony, with some appropriate medical expert testifying that the team gave you the wrong dose, the wrong anesthesia, etc.


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