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Sticky Situation: Quebec Doctor Suspended in Pediatric Eye Gluing Incident

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A Canadian doctor has been suspended by the Quebec College of Physicians for six weeks after gluing a child’s eye shut.

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The incident took place in 2015 when a woman brought her preschool-aged child to Jean Therrien, who had been a doctor for 34 years. The child’s eye had been scratched by their cat, and there was concern about possible permanent damage to his eyelid.

Instead of sending the family to the emergency room, however, Therrien used medical glue to close the wound himself. As no other medical professionals were on duty, he asked the receptionist at the practice, who had no medical training, to help apply the glue, the National Post reported. No barriers were put in place to protect the boy’s lashes, nor was he positioned so that the glue would not drip.

During the procedure, “the child moved and the glue dripped toward the eyelashes, which became glued,” the ruling said. “The child, who could not open his eye, started to cry.”

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The doctor used water to attempt to open the child’s eye, but to no avail. Therrien then sent the family to the hospital, where an ophthalmologist found that the boy’s eyelashes and lid had been completely glued shut. After cutting the child’s eyelashes, his eye was eventually reopened. The wound reportedly healed normally and without any complications.

During the disciplinary hearing, Therrien admitted that he should not have attempted the procedure. Though the boy was not physically harmed in the long term, he was reportedly traumatized and there was “a risk of more serious consequences.”

The board determined that Therrien had exhibited “a serious lack of judgment.”

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