Patients Receive Overdose of Antibiotics during Cataract Surgery

Several patients at the Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay will likely be entitled to medical negligence compensation after receiving an overdose of antibiotics during cataract surgery.

The error came to light after two patients attended the A&E Department at Torbay Hospital complaining of eyesight problems after undergoing cataract surgery on the same day in July. After an investigation was conducted into their similar eyesight difficulties, it became apparent that both patients had received an overdose of antibiotics during cataract surgery.

The Mount Stuart Hospital immediately suspended cataract surgery and launched an investigation. The nineteen patients who had undergone cataract surgery on July 26 were recalled for an immediate review and, although none of the patients needed corrective surgery, two patients were identified as “seriously harmed”, while four others “showed symptoms” of an eye injury.

The investigation revealed that the overdose of antibiotics during the cataract surgery was due to the antibiotic being diluted for sub-conjunctive use (just underneath the clear surface of the eye), but administered intracamerally (into a chamber deeper within the eye). A hospital spokesperson said that the same antibiotic would have been use for both procedures, but the concentration mix is different.

“Process failure” and “human” error” were blamed for the patients receiving an overdose of antibiotics during cataract surgery and following the investigation the consultant surgeon, the surgeon´s assistant and a circulating practitioner were suspended pending a disciplinary hearing. Cataract surgery has now resumed at the Mount Stuart Hospital.

Speaking about the unfortunate incident, 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.” A statement made by the Mount Stuart Hospital said that the hospital offered its sincere apologies to all the patients that had been injured due to the consultant surgeon´s medical negligence.