Florida – Ophthalmology – Multiple Medical Errors In A Patient With Numerous Ocular Complications

An ophthalmologist treated a 48-year-old female from 2/2/2009 to 10/24/2014.

On 10/29/2013, the ophthalmologist documented a diagnosis of proliferative diabetic retinopathy with diabetic macular edema in both eyes, wet macular degeneration in both eyes, vitreous hemorrhage with posterior vitreous detachment in both eyes, subretinal macular hemorrhage in both eyes, posterior change intraocular lens in the right eye, cataract in the left eye, and dry eye syndrome in both eyes.

From 10/29/2013 to 10/24/2014, the ophthalmologist performed panretinal laser treatment on the patient’s eyes four times; intravitreal Avastin injections in both eyes twelve times; focal laser treatments in the patient’s left eye four times, and the patient’s right eye three times; fluorescein angiography and indocyanine green angiography twenty-six times; ultrasonography five times; and intravitreal injection of antibiotics in the right eye.

The Medical Board of Florida judged the ophthalmologist’s conduct to be below the minimal standard of competence given that the ophthalmologist failed to utilize, or did not create, keep or maintain adequate, legible documentation of utilizing, optical coherence tomography to evaluate the patient.  The ophthalmologist incorrectly or falsely diagnosed the patient with wet macular degeneration.  He performed intravitreal Avastin injections on the patient’s eyes without medical justification on one or more occasions.  He performed focal laser treatments, panretinal laser photocoagulation, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography, and ultrasounds on the patient’s eyes excessively or without medical justification on one or more occasions.”  He failed to utilize optical coherence tomography to evaluate the patient.  He did not document the lot number or any other identifying information from any of the vials of Lucentis used during his treatment of the patient.

It was requested that the Medical Board of Florida order one or more of the following penalties for the ophthalmologist: permanent revocation or suspension of his license, restriction of practice, imposition of an administrative fine, issuance of a reprimand, probation, corrective action, payment of fees, remedial education, and/or any other relief that the Medical Board of Florida deemed appropriate.

State: Florida

Date: October 2016

Specialty: Ophthalmology

Symptom: N/A

Diagnosis: Ocular Disease

Medical Error: Unnecessary or excessive treatment or surgery, Diagnostic error, Failure to order appropriate diagnostic test, Unnecessary or excessive diagnostic tests, Improper medication management, Lack of proper documentation

Significant Outcome: N/A

Case Rating: 2

Link to Original Case File: Download PDF

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