11 patients lose eyesight after free cataract surgery at private hospital in Indore

After their examination, it was confirmed that an infection caused the ailment but the doctors could not ascertain the reason for their infections.

Published: 17th August 2019 05:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2019 08:09 AM   |  A+A-

Elderly couple Kailash Das and Kala Bai are among the 11 patients who have complained of losing their vision in their left eyes after undergoing cataract surgeries at the hospital in Indore on 8 August 2019. (Photos | Special Arrangement)

Elderly couple Kailash Das and Kala Bai are among the 11 patients who have complained of losing their vision in their left eyes after undergoing cataract surgeries at the hospital in Indore on 8 August 2019. (Photos | Special Arrangement)

By Express News Service

INDORE: Eleven patients who recently underwent cataract surgeries at a private hospital in Indore have reportedly lost their eyesight. The Madhya Pradesh government ordered a high-level probe and a suspension of the concerned hospital’s license on Saturday.

According to preliminary reports, 14 patients, mostly hailing from Dhar and Indore districts, underwent cataract surgeries in Indore Eye Hospital at a camp under the National Program for Control of Blindness (NPCB) on August 8. Eleven of those 14 patients, aged between 50 and 85 years started complaining of swelling, irritation and loss of eyesight since August 9.

Efforts by the doctors at the private hospital to correct the post-surgical alleged loss of eyesight were in vain.

The 11 patients who mostly hail from poor economic backgrounds include Kala Bai (60) and husband Kailash Das (65), both hailing from Dhar district.

“Both of us earned our living by stitching clothes and had come here with the hope of improving the blurred vision in our left eye through the cataract surgery. But instead of getting improved vision, we’ve lost our vision and we can’t see anything from our left eyes anymore. If the vision isn’t restored, what will we do, beg alms and sleep on the roadside?” a crestfallen Kala Bai exclaimed.

The son of another elderly patient Harpaldas questioned, “The state government talked of compensating us with Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000. Will money bring back my vision in my father’s left eye?”

This is not the first time that patients at Indore Eye Hospital have complained of losing their eyesight after cataract surgery. In 2010, over 15 patients who had undergone a similar surgery had complained about the same.

Taking prompt notice of the development, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath tweeted on Saturday, “It’s shocking how a hospital where similar episode had happened nine years back was allowed to continue conducting similar surgeries. Probe has been ordered by the Indore collector and strict action will be initiated against those responsible.”

The state government has ordered a high-level probe after which an enquiry committee comprising top administrative officials of Indore and medical experts from the state government as well as MGM Medical College, Indore has been constituted.

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The state government has announced compensation of Rs 50,000 for the affected patients. All of them have been shifted to the premier Choithram Hospital in Indore for restoring their lost vision.

“Entire cost of treatment at Choithram Hospital will be borne by the state government and efforts are being made to get the services of famous vitro retinal surgeon Dr Rajiv Raman from Shankar Netralaya, Chennai. Immediate assistance of Rs 20,000 each is being released by the Red Cross. The license of the concerned eye hospital in Indore has been suspended and based on the findings of the high-level committee further action will be taken,” said Madhya Pradesh’s health minister Tulsi Silawat.

Significantly, Indore happens to be the home district of the state’s health minister.

However, Indore Eye Hospital’s senior surgeon Dr Sudhir Mahashabde, clarified: “It’s not the cataract surgery, but an infection caused by some virulent organism which could have led to the post-surgical complications. The concerned patients are being administered the best antibiotics to fight the possible infection and in 70% to 80% cases, the eyesight loss can be restored. We have already informed the state health department officials as well as the state coordinator of the NPCB, besides putting the concerned patients under-treatment based on consultation from top eye specialists from Indore, including specialists from MGM Medical College Indore.”

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