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...

Study: C. Diff Transmission "Might Be More Likely to Occur" in Surgical Centers
Chicago Hospital Sues Leapfrog for Defamation Over Low Patient Safety Grade
Recall: Midazolam Syringes in Blister Packs Contain Syringes of Ondansetron
Study: Overlapping Surgeries Are Safe for Patients
Coughing Fit During Cataract Surgery Costs Patient Her Vision in 1 Eye; Docs Shell Out $1.35M
Mölnlycke Sues Smith & Nephew Over 'False and Deceptive' Claims About Its Wound Dressings
Lawsuit Over Left-Behind Ligating Clip Can Proceed

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

In Case You Missed It

Check out the top 10 viewed features on outpatientsurgery.net

Court Dismisses Suit Claiming Hospital Staff Hurt Patient During Positioning

The man, who was left with bilateral brachial plexopathy, is still in litigation with the surgeon who oversaw the operation.

News & Notes