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Anesth Analg. 2018 May;126(5):1548-1550. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002526.

Patient Harm in Cataract Surgery: A Series of Adverse Events in Massachusetts.

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From the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Anesthesia, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts.


Massachusetts state agencies received reports of 37 adverse events (AEs) involving cataract surgery from 2011 to 2015. Fifteen were anesthesia related, including 5 wrong eye blocks, 3 cases of hemodynamic instability, 2 retrobulbar hematoma/hemorrhages, and 5 globe perforations resulting in permanent loss of vision. While Massachusetts' reported AEs likely underrepresent the true number of AEs that occur during cataract surgery, they do offer useful signal data to indicate the types of patient harm occurring during these procedures.

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