3 men lose vision in botched-up surgeries at free eye camp

3 men lose vision in botched-up surgeries at free eye camp

In a quirk of fate, three senior citizens, who had hoped to get their blurred vision rectified through surgery, reportedly ended up losing their eyesight at a free eye camp organised in Ramanagara district last month.

In an incident that has come to light almost a month late, Appaji Gowda, 52, from Avalahalli of Kanakapura taluk, Kantharaj Urs, 75, from Dalimba, and Veere Gowda, 55, became victims of medical negligence. The eye camp was jointly organised by the Bengaluru-based Punar Jyoti Eye Hospital, the District Blindness Control Society, doctors from Kanakapura taluk hospital and the Sathanur community health centre on April 20.

Following infections post-surgery, Appaji Gowda and Kantharaj Urs had to have the eyeballs of their right eyes removed while Veere Gowda has lost his sight completely.  Doctors at the camp had identified 23 people for eye surgery.

Accordingly, the patients were operated upon at the Punar Jyoti Eye Hospital on April 21. Three days later, they were sent back to their respective places.

“On the third day, we had irritation in the eye. We experienced sever pain, too. We rushed to the nearby government hospital. Later, we were sent back to  the Punar Jyoti Eye Hospital where we were told that we had developed infection in the eye,” said one of the victims. The patients were later referred to the Shankara Eye Hospital. Doctors at the Shankara Eye Hospital told the patients that the infection had got severe. They were also informed about the possibility of the infection affecting the other eye. “That’s why we were asked to get our eyeballs removed,” the patients said.

Appaji Gowda, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday, said: “We had gone to the hospital hoping that our blurred vision could be corrected. Alas, today, all we are left with is complete darkness.”

The victims also claimed that the hospital authorities offered them Rs 25,000 to cover up the matter. They have written to the district administration demanding compensation.

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