Van Wey Law represents multiple Key-Whitman cataract patients who suffered eye injuries during cataract surgery. Kay Van Wey is a Texas Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer handling potential Key-Whitman cataract surgery cases.
Patients who had cataract surgery at Key-Whitman Eye Center received a post-operative steroid antibiotic injection. The solution which was injected into the patient’s eyes was compounded by an Arlington-based compounding pharmacy.
Many of the patients who received this injection developed decreased vision. It is believed that the injection can cause severe deterioration and thinning of the retina. It is unknown at this time whether the patients’ vision will improve or be permanent.
Have you received a letter from the Key-Whitman Eye Center?
Key-Whitman Eye Center sent a letter to its patients who may have been affected by the eye medication injection.
If you have received a letter similar to this, you may have been affected by the eye medication injection. If you contact Van Wey Law for a free consultation, we can help you determine whether or not you may have a case.
If you believe you have been affected by a Key-Whitman cataract surgery, you may also feel confused and concerned. So, please allow us to provide some additional information.
Information About the Steroid/Antibiotic Eye Injection versus a Topical Solution
Intravitreal placement of triamcinolone/moxifloxacin is used to prevent inflammation, endophthalmitis, and cystoid macular edema (CME) after cataract surgery. The solution is prepared by a compounding pharmacy. It contains 15 mg triamcinolone + 1 mg moxifloxacin per ML. A dose of 0..2 mL is placed into the anterior vitreous after IOL implantation and prior to viscoelastic removal using a 27-gauge cannula passed through he zones via the ciliary sulcus inferiorly.
The alternative to this is a topical corticosteroid or antibiotic rather than the injection directly into the eye. Patients who receive the steroid/antibiotic injection intra-operatively may experience temporary reduced visual acuity in the immediate postoperative period, but this should quickly resolve.
As well, patients receiving the intraoperative injection may notice a temporary foreign body sensation at the incisions site if they are not using also using a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
Some patients have also reported “floaters” in their superior field of vision for 3-7 days postoperatively.
However, many Key-Whitman patients who received the steroid/antibiotic injection intra-operatively experienced unanticipated loss of vision some 2-3 weeks after their cataract surgery. Some of the vision loss is severe and may be permanent!
Many of these patients have required the services of a retina specialist for retina damage. It will take time before the true extent of the damage will be known.
Steroid treatments are being used to try and help the patients who have been affected, but concern for permanent retina damage is real.
The solution which was injected into these cataract surgery patients was compounded at an Arlington, Texas based compounding pharmacy.
The pharmacy in question was inspected by the Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration over a period from September 12, 2016-October 21, 2016.
It is unknown exactly when the pharmacy compounded the substance which was used in the Key-Whitman cataract surgeries. However, a search of publicly available documents reveals that this pharmacy had issues with its sterilization processes.
At this time, we do not know exactly what the problem was with the solution. There are many possibilities including the receipt by the pharmacy of contaminated raw products which it used to compound the end product.
The letter which Key-Whitman sent to its patients indicated that they had the injectable substance tested and that “preliminary results” showed no problems. However, they also point out that the testing is preliminary and “…it may be some months until all the results are received.”
Below we have included some helpful Q & A information to help answer your questions and help you make informed decisions about your situation:
Q: I had cataract surgery at Key-Whitman and my vision is worse than before. Should I be concerned?
A: It is too early to know whether decreased vision following cataract surgery at Key-Whitman Eye Center is permanent. However, numerous patients have reported suffering worse vision after cataract surgery.
Many of the patients have been referred by Key Whitman to Texas Retina Associates. Key-Whitman has offered to pay for these consultations with retina specialists. We do not fully understand the relationship between Key Whitman and the specific retina specialists they are referring their patients to. However, we strongly urge patients to get a second opinion from a retina specialist who is not affiliated with Key -Whitman. Not just in this case, but in many instances, second opinions are just good common sense.
Q: What was the substance which was injected into my eye during cataract surgery?
A: The compounded solution is an intravitreal antibiotic plus a steroid.
The primary ingredients include triamcinolone/moxifloxacin. 15 mg of triamcinolone + 1 mg moxifloxacin per ML. A “dose” is generally 0.2ML which is placed in the anterior vitreous after IOL implantation and prior to viscoelastic removal using a 27 – gauge cannula passed through the zonules via the ciliary sulcus inferiorly.
If you think that is a mouthful, what this really means is that an injection of this solution is placed deep into the eye during cataract surgery.
Q: Who manufactured the solution which was injected in my eye?
A: The solution is a “compounded” solution. This means that a compounding pharmacy takes bulk products and “compounds” (mixes) them into drugs. In some instances, compounding pharmacies can receive contaminated bulk products and in other cases, compounding pharmacies can take sterile products and contaminate them during the “compounding” process.
Also, there can be environmental conditions in existence at the compounding pharmacy which can cause contamination of the drugs. We know the compounding pharmacy that mixed the solution used in some of our clients was inspected for contamination. We are investigating to determine what was wrong with the solution as well as the source of the problem.
Q: Do I have a cause of action for damages I have suffered?
A: You may. Contact a lawyer who knows about these cases and this drug to find out. If you had recent cataract surgery at a Key Whitman facility and suffered vision loss, please contact us so that we can determine whether you may have received one of these injections. If you received a letter from Key Whitman advising you that you may have sustained vision loss due to an injection, you should contact an attorney.
Q: How much will it cost me to talk to an attorney?
A: All consultations are free. In the event we determine that you have a viable case and we mutually decide to move forward, we will enter in to what is known as a “contingent fee agreement.”
What this means is that the law firm fronts all the expenses of the litigation and does not charge you an upfront retainer or hourly rate for the legal work on your behalf. Rather, the firm takes a “contingent” interest, meaning the law firm’s recovery of its expenses and attorney’s fees is “contingent” upon a recovery in your case. The attorney’s fees are based on a percentage of the gross recovery made on your behalf and will be discussed at the meeting with your attorney.
Q: How will I know if I have a case?
A: Whether you have a case can be initially determined based on the following criteria:
- You had cataract surgery or cataract and laser surgery at a Key-Whitman Eye Center.
- You developed worse vision in one or both eyes after the surgery.
- You received a letter from Key-Whitman Eye Center advising you of a potential issue with the injectable solution.