Doc Admits Medication Error, Settlement is $1.85 Million

2010 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Medication error leaves woman blind in one eye when doctor fails to dilute antibiotic Clindamycin

The plaintiff is a 54 year old woman who now suffers from blindness in her left eye due to the defendant’s failure to dilute the antibiotic, Clindamycin, before injecting the medication into her left eye for treatment of toxoplasmosis.

The plaintiff began treatment with the defendant in March 2006 for toxoplasmosis which had recently been diagnosed and was causing her visual changes and floaters. The defendant prescribed a number of different oral antibiotics over the course of several weeks, but these various combinations of medications caused migraines and gastrointestinal problems for the plaintiff. On April 7, 2006, the defendant advised the plaintiff of the option to receive intraocular Clindamycin (antibiotic) in lieu of the oral antibiotics previously prescribed. The plaintiff agreed to this course of treatment and scheduled the injection for later that same day.

The defendant personally administered the injection to the plaintiff. The defendant testified that prior to administering the injection, he retrieved undiluted Clindamycin and was supposed to add saline to the medication pursuant to a written protocol, in order to properly dilute the medication and make it appropriate for intraocular injection. The procedure then required the defendant to take and withdraw .1 cc of the liquid into a syringe. He was then to inject this diluted medication intraocularly. Unfortunately, the defendant did not dilute the antibiotic prior to performing the intraocular injection and as a result the plaintiff received undiluted Clindamycin in her left eye. The plaintiff complained of an inability to see out of her left eye immediately after the injection. Based upon her complaints, the defendant took immediate steps to try to determine the cause of her vision loss, but he was unable to correct the situation. Eight hours later, on 4/7/06, the defendant performed an emergent pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) of the plaintiff’s left eye due to the abrupt loss of vision in her left eye after the Clindamycin injection was administered.

On April 8, 2006, the plaintiff returned to see the defendant with complaints of mild pain in her left eye, which he noted was not associated with any other signs and symptoms. During his examination of the left eye, the defendant noted that the plaintiff was able to finger count only at 2 feet. On April 12, 2006, the plaintiff returned to see the defendant with complaints of blurry vision. The defendant documented that upon examination of her left eye; she was not able to count fingers and was only able to see hand motions. The defendant further documented that through further investigation, undiluted Clindamycin was discovered to be the culprit and he informed the plaintiff and her husband of all matters documented in that visit’s note, “including the matter of concentration of Clindamycin injected into the left eye.” Since April 2006, the plaintiff has undergone seven surgical procedures to the left eye in an attempt to restore her vision. To date, her vision in that eye remains unchanged with only the ability to see hand motions.

During the course of discovery in this matter, the defendant acknowledged responsibility for his failure to dilute the medication prior to administering the injection, and the claim was settled for $1,850,000.

Lubin & Meyer attorneys represented the plaintiff in this Clindamycin medication error lawsuit.

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