Botched up cataract surgeries: Number of victims climbs to 13

The number of victims of botched up cataract surgeries in Madhya Pradeshs Indore who have lost vision in the affected eye due to a bacterial infection has risen to 13 with two fresh cases surfacing on Sunday. In a ray of hope for the patients, noted eye surgeon from Chennai Dr Rajiv Raman has said some of them might get their vision restored to a great extent after treatment. Dr Raman has examined the patients on request of the state government. Thirteen patients had undergone surgeries under the National Programme for Control of Blindness at the city-based Netra Chikitsalay, a private hospital. Earlier, eleven persons had complained to have lost vision in the eye for which surgery was conducted. Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to shift three patients in serious condition to Chennai for better treatment. The two cases that surfaced on Sunday are that of Munni Bai Raghuvanshi (60) and Radha Yadav (45), according to their relatives and officials. Local resident Shubham Raghuvanshi has told reporters that his maternal grandmother Munni Bai Raghuvanshi (60) underwent cataract surgery on August 5 at the Netra Chikitsalay (hospital). After the surgery, my grandmother completely lost the vision in the operated eye, he claimed. Ajay Yadav, a resident of Palda area, said his sister Radha Yadav (45) had undergone the surgery on August 5. The doctors at the hospital kept telling us that everything would be alright within four to five days, but later we were told about pus formation in Radhas eye. She is now unable to see with the operated eye, he claimed. Indore Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Praveen Jadia told PTI that Dr Raman has examined all the 13 patients, including the two women, at a hospital in the city. Dr Raman said, There has been a serious infection of pseudomonas bacteria in the affected eyes of the patients. Prima facie, it is suspected that the infection was caused by some fluid or liquid substance. The exact cause will be known after medical investigation. It is expected that some of these patients might get their vision back in the affected eye to a great extent after treatment, he said. Officials said they have decided to send three of the 13 patients who are in serious condition to a hospital in Chennai. While four (of the 13) patients underwent immediate surgery for their infected eye, others are being closely monitored by doctors, they said. Meanwhile, Dr TS Hora, the district in-charge of the National Programme for Control of Blindness, has been suspended for alleged negligence in the matter. District authorities have recorded the statements of 11 patients who are admitted to Choitharam Hospital. Public Health Minister Tulsiram Silawat visited the hospital and assured best treatment for the patients. He had said on Saturday that a seven-member committee headed by Indore Divisional Commissioner will probe the incident. Indore Netra Chikitsalay director Dr Sudhir Mahasabda had said that nobody could be blamed for the unfortunate accident, and that inquiry was underway.