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Steroid Injection Blinded Kaiser Patient, She Says

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (CN) - A Kaiser doctor injected steroids into a patient's ophthalmic artery instead of her nasal tissue, making her blind in one eye, the woman claims in court.

In a complaint filed in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Monda Lambert, blames Dr. Leslie A. Nurse, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., for the injury.

Lambert says two previous sinus surgeries, in which Nurse had participated, had left her with "limited soft tissue in which to inject," increasing the risk that the injection would go into an artery. More conservative options were available, but they were not pursued and Lambert was not informed about them, according to the complaint.

Lambert also claims the injection that blinded her, the fourth in a series, "was not indicated and was unwarranted given the patient's clinical condition."

The complaint accuses Dr. Nurse and Kaiser of "failure, when faced with visual loss, to follow well-established emergency protocols and guidelines to attempt to reverse the effects of the intra-arterial injection, thereby losing any opportunity to restore vision."

As a result, Lambert says, she "incurred and will incur in the future medical and related expenses; has sustained a loss of earnings and impairment of her earning capacity; has been and will continue to be prevented from engaging in her usual and customary activities; has been caused to go and will undergo in the future physical and mental pain and suffering; and has endured and will continue to endure a diminution in her quality of life."

Plaintiff is represented by Gerald E. Mitchell and Richard A. Busey of Stein, Mitchell, Muse & Cipollone in Washington, D.C.

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