Consultant Suspended following Claims of a Negligent Cataract Procedure

Posted on: November 12th, 2014 by Editor

A consultant doctor and two assistants have been suspended from a Devon hospital after claims of a negligent cataract procedure.

The consultant doctor´s negligence came to light after two patients attended the Accident and Emergency Department at Torbay Hospital complaining of eyesight problems, after both had undergone a cataract procedure on July 26 at the nearby Mount Stuart Hospital.

Doctors examining the two patients discovered that their eyesight problems had been caused by an overdose of antibiotics during surgery, and immediately informed the Mount Stuart Hospital. Cataract surgery was halted immediately and an investigation launched into the claims of negligent cataract procedure.

The investigation revealed that the overdose of antibiotics had been caused by the antibiotic having been administered intracamerally (into a chamber deeper within the eye) when the antibiotic mix had been prepared for sub-conjunctive use (just underneath the clear surface of the eye).

The consultant surgeon in charge of the cataract procedures, the surgeon´s assistant and a circulating practitioner were suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, after the investigation revealed that “process failure” and “human” error” were responsible for the negligent treatment.

All nineteen patients who had undergone a cataract procedure on July 26 were recalled for an immediate review. Two patients were identified as “seriously harmed”, while four others “showed symptoms” of an eye injury. None of the recalled patients required corrective surgery.

A spokesperson for the Mount Stuart Hospital apologised sincerely to the patients that had been affected by the claims of a negligent cataract procedure and a subsequent Care Quality Commission inspection found that appropriate action had been taken to ensure the safety of patients using the service (which has now been resumed).

Speaking after the Care Quality Commission inspection, Gill Gant – from the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group – said: “We are satisfied that the hospital has learned important lessons from this incident and that it has acted swiftly to make the necessary changes that will ensure future safety for patients.”

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