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Man Awarded $1.5 Million After Medication Mistake During Botched Cataract Surgery Causes Blindness

Mellino Law Firm

A man has been awarded $1.5 million in damages after his surgeon used the wrong drug and blinded him during cataract removal surgery, Outpatient Surgery Magazine recently reported. The surgeon should have used ophthalmic dye VisionBlue; instead, he used the methylene blue his nurse handed him.

“Both the nurse and a surgical technician testified that they announced what the drug was before it was given to [the doctor], but he testified that he didn’t hear them,” the article stated.

The patient underwent a second procedure and a corneal transplant after the mistake, but neither restored vision to his left eye. He also developed glaucoma in that eye.

“This stuff is so toxic to the eye that it did damage all over his eye,” the patient’s medical malpractice attorney told The Herald Sun.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011, and the ophthalmologist has since moved his practice to another state.

According to Caring.com, 1.5 million people suffer preventable injury and 100,000 people die as a result of a medication mistake.

Man Sues Pharmacy After Medication Mixup Causes Blindness in One Eye

June 20, 2014, Consumerist reported that a 65-year-old man went blind in one eye after CVS Pharmacy gave him ear drops for his pink eye instead of eye drops.

“The packaging identifies it as an ‘EAR SOLN,'” the article said, “[but] instructs the user to ‘INSTILL 3 DROPS IN EACH EYE TWICE DAILY FOR 5 DAYS.'”

The moment he put drops in one eye, he rushed back to the emergency in pain.

The plaintiff’s attorney told USA Today he has no knowledge of the pharmacist being reprimanded or undergoing further training after the error.

“We hope the court system will bring some justice to [my client],” he said.

Unfortunately, regardless of how the lawsuit turns out, medical malpractice caps in that state limit non-economic damages to $250,000.

VA Hospital Settles Botched Cataract Surgery Lawsuit

In 2009, a veteran sued his surgeon for injecting too much anesthetic too fast and injecting it into his eye rather than behind it, which caused his eyeball to explode, per ABC News.

June 29, 2011, ABC reported the VA Hospital settled the 60-year-old man’s lawsuit for $925,000.

“It is clear that Dr. [Yue Michelle] Wang’s training was seriously inadequate,” his attorney said via statement. “This should have been a routine procedure as it is for countless people every day. When proper techniques are used, this particular complication should never occur.”

The veteran underwent four more procedures to correct his vision, but they didn’t work. He was forced to change jobs, limit his driving, and has difficulty reading, his attorney said. If anything happens to his other eye, he may be permanently blinded.

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