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...

Bill Would Lift Moratorium on Construction and Expansion of Physician-Owned Hospitals
Oregon Bill Would Let ASCs Offer Extended Care
10% of Alcohol-Based Preps Allowed to Dry for 3 Minutes Caught Fire
Emails Show Barry Cadden Tried to Cover His Tracks After His Lab Shipped Contaminated Steroids
Faulty Sensor Leads to Recall of Alaris Syringe Pump
Humble Surgical Hospital is Excoriated by Judge for Bilking Aetna Out of Millions
New Details in How Female Impostor Gained Access to 5 ORs

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

Other Articles That May Interest You

How Would You Handle These Real-Life Emergencies?

Preparing for the unthinkable in your facility.

Stretch Breaks During Surgery

Fentanyl Diversion at Colorado Hospital Exposes Patients to Hepatitis

The surgical tech implicated in the theft has reportedly been in trouble before for drug-related offenses.