Hospital Authority concerns safety of laser eye procedures

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Hospital Authority expressed deep concerns over two recent incidents involving laser eye treatments.

One of the incidents reported happened in Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital on Monday. 

The patient was arranged to undergo macular laser treatment procedure. During the procedure, the doctor noticed a higher degree of laser energy output than what had originally been intended and discovered a deviation in the setting of the laser instrument. The doctor readjusted the setting and continued the remaining procedure.

During the follow-up appointment on Wednesday, the examination revealed that the patient’s vision was slightly impaired. 

Another case was from Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital as the doctor performed the laser treatment on the patient’s right eye, when it should have been on the left eye. The doctor later discovered the mistake and immediately stopped the procedure. No adverse condition is observed from the patient.

Both hospitals will set up root cause analysis panels to investigate the incident and the report will be submitted to the Hospital Authority within eight weeks.

They have also conducted open disclosure to the patients and extended their apology. 

The Coordinating Committee in Ophthalmology issued a reminder to the ophthalmology departments in  public hospitals, reinforcing the importance of strict compliance to the Interventional Procedure Safety Policy, including the verification of energy level requirements of the laser procedure.