Maharashtra: 4 lose vision, 19 affected after eye surgery botch-up

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Mumbai, Nov 5: At least four persons lost their eyesight, while the vision of 19 others was critically affected after alleged botched-up surgeries by doctors at a cataract check-up camp in Maharashtra's Washim district, a senior health official said today.

Washim's civil surgeon and the doctor who performed surgeries on the patients have been suspended in view of the botch-up while suspension has also been recommended of a doctor at Akola Medical College, the state health department official said.

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"On October 31, we got reports of surgery botch-up at the Washim cataract check-up camp and subsequent negligence at the Akola Medical College," he said.

"The health department officials immediately swung into action and shifted 22 patients from Washim and Akola to Mumbai's J J Hospital, where all efforts are being made to restore their eye-sight under the supervision of world class ophthalmologists," he said.

"Following reports and finding serious negligence on the part of the doctors at Washim Hospital and Akola Medical College, the state health minister has ordered suspension of Washim civil surgeon Surekha Mende and Dr P P Chauhan, who performed surgeries on nearly 14 patients at the eye cataract check-up camp," the official said.

Noted eye-surgeon at Mumbai's J J Hospital, Dr T P Lahane told PTI, "We are doing every bit to treat the patients in order to restore their eye-sight."

"They have severe 'pseudomonas' infection in the eyes.We have operated 21 patients out of whom 14 were severely infected. Rest have minor-to-serious infection. We have managed to restore the eye-sight in four patients, while another four completely lost their vision," he said.

"As of now there are 19 patients admitted in critical condition of eyes and we are trying our best to treat them," Lahane said. 

The victims had gone for cataract surgery in Washim during a camp held there between October 6 and 29. But, from October 13, few patients started coming back to hospital with complaints of watery, itchy and red eyes, and blurred vision.

"When these patients started turning up at Washim hospital, the doctors, without analysing the cause, referred them to the medical college at Akola, where also they did not get proper attention for over ten days, which shows serious and criminal negligence," the health official said.

"The health department has recommended the medical education department to initiate action against Akola medical college's ophthalmologist Umesh Tiwari," he said.

State Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant is personally seeking information about the line of treatment being provided to these patients, and the department officials are daily visiting the J J Hospital, he said.

Dr Lahane said the situation would not have been so grim, had the patients been brought to J J Hospital in the earlier stages of complications.

PTI

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