DW BUREAU / KURUKSHETRA
Following botched cataract surgeries at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Civil Hospital here, at least 24 patients, including some women, suffered severe eye infection.
The Kurukshetra district health authorities have suspended eye surgeries at the hospital till Friday.
The patients who were operated upon at the hospital over the past three weeks have been referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. The PGIMER confirmed that its Advanced Eye Centre (AEC) received 24 patients of post cataract surgery endophthalmitis, an inflammation of the interior of the eye, in last couple of weeks.
“At AEC, PGIMER, till now 19 patients have been operated… All the patients are doing well on topical and systemic antibiotics. Their vision is gradually improving. None of the patient has complete loss of vision. Eleven patients have been discharged and advised regular follow up,” it said in a statement. “Thirteen patients are still admitted in AEC and monitored on daily basis,” it added. On Wednesday, a team of doctors led by Director Health Services, Haryana, Dr Arshudeen visited the hospital to investigate the cases. Civil Surgeon Dr Sukhbir Singh said an investigation was on to ascertain the cause of the infection and fix responsibility. A senior eye surgeon had performed around 100 cataract surgeries between February 27 and March 11, he said.
Singh said as many as 24 patients reported back with complaints of irritation. Samples of tools, chemicals, medicines, roof and floor of the operation theatre have been taken to ascertain the cause of the infection, he said.
Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Manjit Singh said a team comprising of doctors Ranju Soni and Mezpal have been sent to the PGIMER on Wednesday to assess the situation and further recommend to the state government to either pay the medical bills of such patients directly to the institute or reimburse them. “We will examine all patients who underwent surgeries at the LNJPNCH over the past one month to ensure that no case of infection goes untreated,” he said.
Dr Anita Goyal, who performed some of the surgeries at the hospital, said the infection might have been caused due to tools or fluids used in the surgeries.
It was possible that a bacterial infection might have been present in a patient and was transmitted to others, she said.
“The operation theatre was maintained as per the surgery protocol to contain any chance of infection. It is a matter of investigation to pinpoint the cause of the infection,” she added.