Eye operation leaves 10 blind

Medical negligence: AP government orders inquiry

However, the hospital authorities have denied the tragedy was due to negligence and insist that an infection could have resulted in complications and loss of vision.

The Andhra Pradesh Government on Monday said that it has launched an inquiry into the shocking incident in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, where ten people lost their vision in a free eye camp conducted by the Bollineni Eye Hospital and research centre. The number of infected people on Monday rose to 22 with seven more approaching hospitals in Chennai and Vijayawada with post-surgery complications. Andhra Pradesh Health Minister D Nagender said the government would act against the hospital if the tragedy was a result of negligence.

According to reports, a free eye camp conducted by the Bollineni Eye Hospital offered surgery to those having cataract. As many as 29 persons were operated upon but within a few days, ten persons complained of blurred sight and burning sensation in the eyes.
They were rushed to the Bollineni Hospital and later referred to Sankara Nethralaya Hospital in Chennai where doctors ruled out possibility of the vision being restored.

Relatives of the blinded victims held the hospital solely responsible saying it was careless in post-operative care as the victims were aged and poor. However, Dr Sai Murali, Chief Ophthalmologist of the Bollineni Globe Eye Foundation denied the tragedy was due to negligence of the doctors.

“We have taken all precautions, but infections can happen due to many reasons, even after sterilisation.

We have tried all our best to save the eyesight of all our patients,” he said. He pointed out that 45,000 cataract surgeries were performed at the hospital during the last six years and not a single incident of infection was reported.

Health Minister Danam Nagender asked Bollineni hospital to stop all such operations forthwith. “Losing eyesight is like losing life. If it is a case of negligence we will take action,” he said here on Monday.

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