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Blindness After Surgery

Blindness after non-eye surgery is one of the most devastating injuries that a patient can suffer.  It most frequently occurs in patients undergoing spinal surgery but can occur from any surgical procedure or post-operative event in which substantial blood loss occurs.  The specific type of blindness associated with malpractice claims is vision loss in both eyes due to PION (posterior ischemic optic neuropathy).  


Blindness after surgery has been associated with the following errors:


  • Failure to transfuse an adequate amount of red blood cells to make up for massive blood loss during surgery


  • Failure to maintain adequate blood pressure due to massive blood loss during surgery


  • Failure to keep the head above the heart while patient is in the prone position during lengthy surgery with substantial blood loss


  • Failure to monitor for or respond to signs and symptoms of massive blood loss in the immediate post-operative period


The optic nerve needs an adequate supply of oxygenated blood and is susceptible to permanent injury if the blood pressure is too low and the amount of oxygen in the blood is too low to nourish the optic nerve. Also, if the blood supply to the optic nerve is compromised due to venous congestion, this can contribute to inadequate flow of oxygenated blood to the optic nerve.  


If you or a family member have suffered a catastrophic injury or loss due to a medical error, contact Bill Maddix, your Minnesota medical negligence lawyer, for a free consultation. 


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For Free Consultation:




Call (612) 418-0263




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