A North Carolina man was awarded $1.5 million by a jury after a surgery left him blind in one eye. An ophthalmologist and two medical practices were named in the lawsuit after an alleged drug mix-up during a cataract surgery in 2008.
According to testimonies in the case, the ophthalmologist was performing a cataract removal on the patient and asked for a drug called Vision Blue, an ophthalmic dye. A nurse instead presented a different drug, methylene blue, to a surgical technician who then gave it to the doctor. The nurse and technician both claimed that they audibly stated the name of the drug as it was being passed to the doctor, but the doctor insisted that he did not hear this.
Methylene blue is highly toxic to the eyes and reportedly did severe damage to the patient when it was applied. According to reports, a procedure was performed to correct the damage caused by the drug but subsequently failed. A full corneal transplant was then undertaken and rejected by the patient’s body. The patient is now blind in one eye and has since then contracted glaucoma.
The ophthalmologist has moved his practice to Texas. The final judgment including interest and other costs will near a reported $2 million.
Hospital and doctor errors are not uncommon, and they may cause worsened conditions and even death. When someone is injured by a medical error, they may be entitled to financial compensation. An attorney could assist someone who has been injured by a medical error by helping them understand their legal rights and consulting on a possible course of action.
Source: Herald-Sun, ‘Jury awards cataract patient $1.5M in malpractice suit”, Keith Upchurch, Aug. 20, 2014
Source: Outpatient Surgery, “Drug Mix-Up Blinds Patient, Spurs Malpractice Verdict”, Jim Burger, August 22, 2014