Home >  News >  October, 2017

Coughing Fit During Cataract Surgery Costs Patient Her Vision in 1 Eye; Docs Shell Out $1.35M

At issue: whether the coughing started before or during the case.

Published: October 31, 2017

COSTLY COUGH A patient who claims she began to cough uncontrollably during cataract surgery developed a choroidal hemorrhage.

A 77-year-old woman's coughing fit during cataract surgery has cost her the vision in one eye and cost her ophthalmologist and anesthesiologist a combined $1.35 million.

The parties reached a settlement after the patient, Peggy Nelson, sued ophthalmologist Ronald Klug, MD, of Ophthalmic Physicians of Monmouth in Homdel, N.J., and anesthesiologist Andrea Engel, MD, for malpractice, according to Ms. Nelson's attorney, Daryl Zaslow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy in Edison, N.J.

Ms. Nelson claims that she was coughing violently before the 2012 procedure began, and that Dr. Klug should never have started the surgery. Drs. Klug and Engel maintain that Ms. Nelson's coughing was mild and under control before the procedure began. They say she didn't begin coughing uncontrollably until after her lens capsule had been removed, and that stopping then would have been too risky.

The surgery was ultimately aborted before an IOL could be placed, after Ms. Nelson suffered a choroidal hemorrhage. Ms. Nelson had several additional procedures with various specialists, but never recovered her lost vision.

Citing a confidentiality agreement in the settlement, Mr. Zaslow declined further comment.

Dr. Klug did not respond to requests for comment. Dr. Engel is retired and could not be reached for comment.

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

Fine-Tune Your Cataract Cases

5 tips to improve your efficiency.

Numerous Cases of a Potentially Blinding Condition Have Been Tied to Vancomycin Injections

Although the cause of hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis is currently unproven, there is a strong association with the use of intraocular vancomycin, says FDA.

Cataract Surgery Technology Update

Forget the marketing pitches — our reader survey reveals what's making a real difference in eye surgery today.