Botched up cataract surgeries in Bihar took place at infected OT, says probe



PATNA: The operation theatre of an eye hospital in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur town where cataract surgeries of more than 60 people at a free camp has caused irreversible loss of vision to nearly half of the patients, has been found to be infected upon investigation, an official confirmed on Tuesday.

According to Muzaffarpur Civil Surgeon Vinay Kumar Sharma, swab samples had been collected from the OT of Muzaffarpur Eye Hospital, a charitable health care centre, where 65 people had been operated upon on November 22 last.

“The samples were sent to the Microbiology department of Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) here. The results confirm bacterial infection,” he said.

The findings have been shared with the local administration as well as the state health department for suitable action, he added.

The hospital was sealed by the administration last week and an FIR has been lodged against 14 people, including the surgeon who performed the surgery, the technicians and paramedics who assisted him, and those associated with the ophthalmological centre.

The matter had come to light less than a week after the free camp was held when patients began visiting the eye hospital with complaints of severe symptoms.

The eyes of four persons were eviscerated at the eye hospital, to prevent the infection from spreading to the other eye and body parts.

The same invasive procedure had to be performed upon another 11 patients who were referred to the SKMCH.

“We admitted altogether 22 patients who had undergone the surgery at the eye hospital. Evisceration was performed on the operated eye of 11 of them while the remaining had to be referred to the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) at Patna. Some more patients have also been referred there from the Sadar hospital,” said SKMCH head of the ophthalmology department R K Singh.

According to IGIMS ophthalmology HOD Bibhuti P Sinha “altogether 20 patients, referred from Muzaffarpur after the botched up cataract surgeries, are undergoing treatment.

“Surgeries have been conducted on three of the patients while another patient will be operated upon tomorrow. We did not have to eviscerate the eyes. The surgeries were aimed at preventing the spread of infection and restoration of vision to whatever extent it was possible.”

Sinha, however, lamented that the remaining 16 patients had suffered “irreversible vision loss” and “our efforts are aimed at preventing the worsening of infection.”

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