Ore. doctor operated on wrong eye of Wash. boy

April 19, 2011 7:56:20 PM PDT
An Oregon surgeon operated on the wrong eye of a 4-year-old boy from Washington state, his parents say.

"She said, 'Frankly, I lost sense of direction and didn't realize I had operated on the wrong eye until I was done operating on the eye,"' Tasha Gaul, the boy's mother, said of the doctor's reaction after last week's surgery.

Gaul and Dale Matlock, of Vancouver, Wash., told KATU-TV in Portland that their son, Jesse Matlock, had surgery on his right eye to prevent it from wandering. Gaul said Dr. Shawn Goodman operated on the boy's left eye before repeating the operation on the correct eye.

Gaul said that since the operation, she has not seen any improvement in the right eye and now the boy's left eye appears to be wandering.

Goodman, of Lake Oswego, did not immediately return a message on Tuesday.

The surgeon is not an employee of the facility where the surgery took place, but the hospital said it will be interviewing the staff in the operating room, as well as any private practice physicians in the room that were involved.

"Our hope is to never have it happen again in any of our hospitals," said Dr. Lori Morgan, CEO of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.

Matlock and Gaul said they have hired a lawyer and were considering a malpractice lawsuit. Gaul said she is concerned about the effects of the unnecessary surgery on her son's vision.


Information from: KATU-TV, http://www.katu.com/