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Faulty Drug Used during Cataract Surgery at Govt-run Hosp in Bengaluru May Impair Vision of 24 Patients

Doctors said the surgeries were conducted following due procedure and protocol, though a medicine that was used may have been contaminated leading to the problem.

Stacy Pereira | CNN-News18

Updated:July 17, 2019, 4:41 PM IST
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Faulty Drug Used during Cataract Surgery at Govt-run Hosp in Bengaluru May Impair Vision of 24 Patients
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Bengaluru: As many as 24 patients who went in for a routine cataract surgery at the government-run Minto hospital have complained of post-operative complications, which could impair their vision. The operations were conducted on July 9 and since a day later, at least 14 of the patients have complained of redness and pus formation.

The hospital conducts around 100 cataract surgeries on a daily basis and many economically weaker patients avail the treatment under various government schemes at nominal fees or free of cost. Doctors said the surgeries were conducted following due procedure and protocol, though a medicine that was used may have been contaminated leading to the problem.

Dr Sujatha Rathod, Director at Minto Eye Hospital, said after the patients complained of irritation, they were immediately attended to. “Of the 24 patients, 11 have recovered and discharged. Thirteen of them are still in the hospital of whom five are not responding too well to treatment. Hence, we have sought a second opinion to see if we can conduct additional procedures.”

A cataract surgery is usually a two-day process where a patient is admitted on day one and the surgery is conducted the next day. If there is no post-operative reaction, the patient is discharged immediately and asked to come for routine check-ups.

Rathod said, “During internal investigation, a drug called Occugel, which is used as a lubricating agent, showed presence of a foreign organism that could have caused the infection.”

Drug cultures confirmed that the Ophthalmic Viscosurgical Device bearing batch number OUV190203 of the drug that was opened on Tuesday was faulty.

Since then, the operation theatre along with six units of the hospital have remained shut. Patents are being referred to the Bowring hospital unit.

Being a government-run hospital, the drugs are procured from the Drug Controller of Karnataka who picks up licensed drugs after quotations and tenders following standardised procedures.

“The government through the drug control department will now have to put the liability on manufacturers for giving a breached or un-sterilised product.”

Occugel 2% is a product of Opthotechnics Limited and is locally distributed by a company, named Unicorn. “If the patients fail to regain eyesight, we’ll push for the manufacturer to compensate. The drug control department has seized all the drugs and will submit its report within 10 days,” Rathod added.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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