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NC jury awards patient $1.5 million after sound-alike drug mix-up

Accreditation Insider, August 26, 2014

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A North Carolina jury found an ophthalmologist and hospital negligent after a sound-alike drug error that damaged a patient’s eye, according to a report in the Durham Herald Sun. The patient, Jerry M. Medlin of Durham, was awarded $1.5 million in the medical malpractice lawsuit against Timothy N. Young, North Carolina Specialty Hospital and North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat.

The paper reported that Young ordered a dye called VisionBlue to stain the cataract so it could be removed, but a nurse brought a drug called methylene blue. The nurse testified that she announced the drug’s name as she handed it to a surgical technician in the operating room, and the tech testified that she also announced the drug before giving it to Young. But the doctor said he never heard those announcements and applied the drug to Medlin’s eye. The methylene blue damaged Medlin’s eye and another procedure and a corneal transplant failed to correct it. Medlin is now blind in his left eye and has developed glaucoma as a result of the surgeries.

Read the article here.



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