A Canadian woman says a clinic receptionist glued her 3-year-old son's eye shut during a botched procedure at a medical clinic in July.
For a few hours, things were looking very scary for Julia Vavatsikos and her son, Vinnie -- though the boy was eventually treated by a specialist and is doing fine now. Vavatsikos is now sharing her story in the hopes that other parents won't have to endure the same ordeal.
Vavatsikos took the boy to the LeBlanc & Savaria private medical clinic in the Montreal suburb of Blainville, Quebec, after the family cat scratched him above the eye on July 1. The clinic was short-staffed because of the Canada Day national holiday, and only one doctor was working, according to the CBC.
Dr. Jean Therrien decided it would be best to use medical glue to seal the cut over the boy's right eye.
Medical glue, sometimes called "skin glue," is an adhesive that joins the edges of a wound together. It is used on small cuts as an alternative to stitches or medical staples.
When the doctor called a coworker in to help him, Vavatsikos assumed the other man had some medical training.
"I thought ... that he was either a nurse or medical student," Vavatsikos told the CBC. "The doctor was holding my son and kind of holding his eye and then the co-worker applied glue. He kind of missed and he glued my son's eye shut."
It turns out that the man who glued Vinnie's eye shut was the clinic's receptionist, and had no medical training.
Dr. Marie-Andrée LeBlanc, one of the clinic's owners, told the CBC that the boy had suddenly moved when the receptionist was attempting to apply the glue.
Therrien suggested that Vavatsikos take her son to the emergency room, which she did. Vavatsikos says the nurse who took care of Vinnie there was shocked that the doctor at the clinic had even suggested using glue so near to the boy's eye.
"[She] couldn't believe it... She said, first of all, they try to avoid using glue because things like this could happen, especially on places like an eye," Vavatsikos said. The nurse said the procedure should have been performed by a specialist.
An ophthalmologist eventually cut Vinnie's eyelashes and opened his eye. Vinnie hasn't has any problems with his vision following the incident, his mother said.
Vavatsikos filed a complaint against the clinic, but so far, no decision has been made. The clinic eventually refunded her $150 medical bill.
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