Patient loses eye to fungal infection, sues Florida ASC

St. Luke's Surgical Center in Tarpon Springs, Fla., is being sued by a patient who lost her eye to a fungal infection after one of its surgeons, Brandon Rodriguez, MD, performed a cornea transplant, Tampa Free Press reported Dec. 1.

The suit was filed Oct. 28 by Kathleen Campbell, 80, and her husband. It alleges that Ms. Campbell was inappropriately kept in the dark about her risk of infection, that she should have had more frequent follow-ups and that Dr. Rodriguez was not informed in a timely manner about the risk of infection.

Dr. Rodriguez operated on Ms. Campbell in January 2019. The next month, the Eye Bank Association for America was notified that the patient who received the mate cornea of Ms. Campbell's transplant was suffering from a fungal infection that can cause eye loss.

The suit alleges that four days passed after the Eye Bank Association contacted St. Luke's before the ASC returned the call. Two ophthalmic technicians allegedly spoke to the Eye Bank Association, one of whom said Ms. Campbell showed no signs of infection — despite Ms. Campbell allegedly not having been told about the incident or her 50 percent risk of infection, according to the report.

By March 9, Ms. Campbell began to experience significant pain and tearing in the eye with the transplanted cornea. She saw Dr. Rodriguez after first visiting and reporting serious symptoms to an optometrist, according to the report.

From then to December 2019, she underwent multiple surgeries in an attempt to save the eye, but in January 2020 her eye was removed and replaced with a prosthetic, the report said.

The Tampa Free Press reportedly reached out to St. Luke's and Ms. Campbell's attorney, but did not hear back from either.

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