Boy Goes to Doctor, Gets Eye Glued Shut

Vinnie Vavatsikos went in with a cat-scratch on his eyelid
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2015 12:52 PM CDT
Boy Goes to Doctor, Gets Eye Glued Shut

A Canadian boy who went to the doctor this summer ended up screaming in terror when a receptionist accidentally glued one of his eyes shut, his mother tells the CBC. "I thought I was going to faint," says Julia Vavatsikos of what befell her three-year-old boy Vincenzo, who goes by Vinnie. "My son was screaming he was trying to open his eye … it was very, very, scary." Julia had figured it would be simple: On July 1, she took Vinnie to a private medical clinic in Quebec to look at a cat-scratch on his eyelid. Just one doctor was manning the clinic that day, so he brought in the clinic receptionist and asked the receptionist to apply medical glue to the cut. But while the doctor held Vinnie, the receptionist "kind of missed and he glued my son's eye shut," says Vavatsikos, who had initially assumed the colleague who was assisting was a "nurse or medical student."

Vavatsikos says her son started yelling and the doctor looked like he was panicking" and began swearing. Horrified, she rushed Vinnie to an emergency room, where an ophthalmologist successfully opened Vinnie's eye after cutting his eyelashes; he's not expected to have any long-term issues. An owner of the LeBlanc & Savaria Clinique Médicale Privée in Blainville says the accident occurred when Vinnie moved—while the doctor was performing the "crucial medical act of holding the boy in place"—but the clinic refunded Vavatsikos' $150 payment. Apparently only a real doctor is allowed to apply such glue in Quebec. Meanwhile, studies show that tens or even hundreds of thousands of patients die in US hospitals annually because of medical errors, the New York Times reports. (This surgeon relied on memory during an operation, and that was a bad choice.)

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