Six patients sue Brisbane eye clinic for medical negligence

Date: Jan 27, 2015

A Brisbane eye clinic is at the centre of a medical negligence case following malpractice complaints from six patients.

The individuals received care at Vision Eye Institute’s Upper Mt Gravatt clinic three years ago, but they claimed eye drops prescribed to them after routine laser surgery caused significant scarring to their eyes.

This resulted in the patients requiring corneal transplants in order to mend the damage, the Courier Mail reports, with two people requiring operations on both eyes. However, this is just a temporary solution, as transplants of this kind typically only last between 10 and 12 years.

Each patient had been receiving treatment for a condition known as keratoconus, which causes corneal degeneration. The treatment involves using vitamin B12 and ultraviolet lights.

According to court documents, there was a mix-up in the eye drops, meaning the patients were given a solution containing dextran sulphate rather than dextran.

As a result of this mistake, the claimants are filing medical negligence cases against both the eye surgeon and the pharmacist who composed the drops.

Who was negligent?

While the surgeon has conceded that he used the wrong drops, he argued that the solution he prescribed was correct. He claimed the Sydney pharmacist who made drops was to blame.

However, an ophthalmic surgeon providing evidence said the responsibility for treatment should always fall on the medical practitioner. Furthermore, the pharmacist said the bottle clearly showed what the eye drops contained.

Despite this, the Health Quality and Complaints Commission found the eye surgeon not responsible for the mistake. Instead, the panel passed on the complaint about the pharmacist to NSW authorities.

It was later revealed the pharmacist had already been restricted from compounding pharmaceutical products in 2014, although the reason for this was kept confidential.

Medical negligence claims in NSW

People who feel they have suffered from medical negligence in NSW should contact a specialist law firm to investigate their case.

The claims process for malpractice can be lengthy and complex, so finding the best legal representation is highly recommended.

Securing the services of a no-win, no-fees lawyer can be particularly useful for medical negligence cases, as the firm will only receive payment if the claim is successful.

This provides peace of mind for the plaintiff, allowing them to pursue their case without worrying about the financial implications of losing.

Gerard Malouf and Partners has a 98 per cent success rate, so please get in touch if you want to learn more about our services.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.