Cataract surgery resulted in blindness

Sunil Sharma

Hyderabad – Seven patients at the government-run Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital (SDEH) in city have suffered complete loss of vision in one eye after undergoing a botched-up cataract surgery . The surgeries were done on June 30, but the blunder came to light only on Wednesday . The victims, four women and three men aged between 50 and 70 years, developed a bacterial infection caused by superbug Klebsiella during the surgery.

Laboratory reports revealed that the saline solution administered to patients during the surgery had the bug. A case under Section 338 of IPC (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) has been registered against the hospital. The state government has constituted a committee to conduct an enquiry into the botched up surgeries. Patients alleged hospital authorities attempted to hush up the botch-up despite knowing about it. “There is definitely something fishy .

The concerned doctors are nowhere to be seen now to tell me just when I will regain vision in my left eye,” said S Anji Reddy (70) from Chevella in Ranga Reddy district. Patients recalled they started having unbearable pain and puss formation in their eye soon after the surgery. Incessant vomiting was another symptom. “We were never told what went wrong with our eyes. The doctors just kept taking us back to the OT for a series of follow-up surgeries after we underwent the first one on June 30,” recalled M Prabhavathi (58) from Jeedimetla in Hyderabad.

Hospital authorities blamed a 500-ml bottle of ‘infected’ saline for the botch-up. SDEH deputy superintendent Dr Rajender Gupta said: “Though 21 patients underwent the procedure on the same day, only 13 got the infection from the Klebsiella superbug. They were all admitted in OT number 2 and administered Ringer’s Lactated (RL) solution from a single infected bottle. Out of 13 patients, six responded well to antibiotic treatment administered thereafter.

” As per records, the city hospital had a stock of 540 bottles of RL solution at the time of the incident, all of which were directly supplied by the state-run Telangna State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSMSIDC) that procured the same from Haseeb Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, a Nagpur-based pharmaceutical company.

“Presence of Klebsiella was confirmed through three laboratory test reports. It is a saline that’s used for washing the eyes of patients during surgery,” Dr Gupta added.
The Ringers Lactated solution is also known as compound sodium lactate, containing chemical ingredients like lactic acid, sodium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium hydroxide. The owner of the Nagpur firm, Yusuf Badar said “I did supply the RL to the hospital three or four months ago. But this solution is never used for washing eyes. It is done only with normal saline… also, the solution was tested by the Hyderabad hospital and found to be fine. My bill was cleared only after that.

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