December 1, 2023

Health News

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Richmond, B.C. woman angry after doctor performs treatment on the wrong eye

A B.C. woman is speaking out after she went to the hospital to get surgery on her eye.

Shirley Ng was feeling pressure in her right eye and was told she needed laser treatment in order to relieve it.

On Feb. 16 she went to the Eye Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital to get treatment.

But when she received the surgery, she realized they performed the procedure on the left eye, not the right.

Shirley Ng on the day before her eye surgery at VGH.


Ng said the doctor who performed her procedure was not the doctor she had seen before.

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“I told her I feel a little bit nervous,” she said. “And then she said, ‘That’s okay, don’t worry, I will walk you through everything’.

“And then she turned off the lights. Obviously, the door has to be closed and she turned off the lights.”

Ng said it wasn’t until after the procedure was over that she was informed that she would have to undergo the procedure again, but this time on her right eye.

“I was feeling so shocked,” she said. “I say, what you’ve just done the laser on my right side, why do you need to redo it again? And then she apologized to me. She said, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry I’ve done the wrong eye.’

“I was so frustrated and I told her directly I’m not going to allow you to do the laser on my right as I don’t have confidence in you.”

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However, Ng did end up getting the procedure on her right eye as she felt she had no choice.

She learned after that the doctor who did the procedure was a fellow.

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She said she felt like a lab rat being experimented on and was later handed a consent form by the receptionist.

“And I asked her, ‘ What’s the consent about?’,” Ng said. “And then she told me, ‘Oh, this is the consent form for you to agree to do both eyes. And I said, ‘No, I did not say that I want to do both sides. I came here because I need to do the laser on my right side. So I’m not going to sign the consent form’.”

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Ng left the hospital shortly after the encounter but she did file a complaint with the Patient Care Quality Office.

In a statement from Vancouver Coastal Health, they said they encourage anyone who is concerned about their own care of care of a loved one to connect with that office.

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However, staff could not speak to any specific details of individual cases.

Ng said she was assured that the procedure on her left eye did not do any damage but she is worried.

“The eyes right now are still red and also dry and swollen as well,” she said.

“Every morning when I wake up I have to check my eyes and when I see that my eyes are still red, still swollen, still dry, I feel terrible. I don’t want people to look at me and think, ‘What’s wrong with this lady?’”

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