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Not possible to restore eye sight of 40 patients, says AIIMS docs

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Most of the patients of botched-up cataract surgery conducted at a government camp in Barwani district last month have complained of a total loss of vision and only three-four of them could get their vision restored, according to an AIIMS ophthalmologist.

A team of six expert doctors from the Delhi-based premier institution, led by ophthalmologist Dr Atul Kumar, today started examining the patients who complained of a blurred vision since the surgeries were held last month. “We have examined 45 patients. Of them, 40 have complained of losing their vision completely. Pus formation has taken place in their eyes due to infection,” Kumar said. He said only 3-4 patients, out of 45, may regain their vision. Kumar said the AIIMS was ready to render all possible help to the victims if the Madhya Pradesh government sends them to Delhi for further treatment.

The patients have been treated at two private hospitals here after they developed swelling in eyes, coupled with irritation and blurred vision, after undergoing cataract surgeries conducted at a government camp in the district during November 16 and November 21. Kumar said the infection in their eyes could have been caused due to improper medicine. “The quality of medicines used during government’s cataract eye operation camp should be probed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Health Department Joint Director, Sharad Pandit said it would be premature to draw any conclusion on reason behind the incident since a probe is on. “The investigation being carried out so far has pointed out that the patients have contracted both bacterial and fungal infection. We are also looking at the upkeep of operation theatre, the medical implement and the medicine used during the time of operations,” he said.

Pandit, however, conceded that a standard procedure was not adhered to while conducting the surgeries. “The eye surgeon who had carried out the operation has said that operation theatre was not in order,” he added.