Home >  News >  August, 2014

Drug Mix-Up Blinds Patient, Spurs Malpractice Verdict

Cataract patient given methylene blue instead of VisionBlue.

Published: August 22, 2014

A mix-up over sound-alike drugs is at the heart of a $1.5 million jury award earlier this week stemming from a botched cataract procedure that left a patient blind in one eye.

You might say the cataract team at North Carolina Specialty Hospital blue it. Ophthalmologist Timothy Young, MD, PhD, who at the time was practicing with co-defendant North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat, in Durham, called for the ophthalmic dye VisionBlue during a cataract removal in 2008, according to news reports. But a nurse instead retrieved methylene blue, a compound sometimes used in endoscopic polypectomies and one that's toxic to eyes.

Both the nurse and a surgical technician testified that they announced what the drug was before it was given to Dr. Young, but he testified that he didn't hear them.

A second procedure to repair the severe damage caused by the mix-up failed, as did a full corneal transplant.

Calls for comment by Outpatient Surgery Magazine to Dr. Young, who now practices in Texas, and to North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat, were not returned.

Jim Burger


Also in the News...

Physician Charged With Multiple Felonies in Providing Drugs to Woman He Met on seekingarrangements.com
Study: Minimizing Door Openings During Surgery Lowers Surgical Site Infection Rate
Hackers Install Ransomware on ASC Computer Network
Feds Finally Freeing Funds for Meningitis Outbreak Victims
ASCs and HOPDs See Slight Hikes Under CMS's Proposal
Anesthesia Tech Sentenced to 1 Year for Molesting Unconscious Patients
Lawsuit: Spine Surgeon, Bone Cement Manufacturer Responsible for Woman's Death

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Colorado Tech Accused of Stealing Syringes Is HIV Positive

Thousands of patients undergo testing for possible exposure.

News & Notes

News & Notes