A team led by Dr Rupali Mehta, regional deputy director health-Rajkot and leading ophthalmologist, was asked to investigate the matter on behalf of the government. “Our reports show that 12 people have been contracted endophthalmitis. The cause of infection based on the Operation Theatre (OT) culture report is bacteria and fungus found in the environment of the OT. This happens due to improper sterilisation of the area. However, no organism was found in the instrument fluid. We have done the panchnama and sealed the OT of the hospital,” Dr Mehta told dna on Monday.Will they see again? No answer
Dr Mehta expressed concern over return of vision for those who have lost it. “Currently all the patients have perception of vision, which means if someone puts the light on, they can see it, but no figures. This has happened because of spread of infection,” she said.
“A team of expert doctors from MNJ Hospital, Ahmedabad, will visit the city on Tuesday to assess the situation further. It will issue an advisory to both the hospital and the surgeon,” she added. She confirmed that the patients were referred to the retinal surgeon at the Rajkot Medical college on Monday. “If required, they will be sent to MNJ hospital and the entire expense of the treatment will be borne by the government,” Dr Mehta added.The hospital
Sadhu Vaswani is a trust hospital. Between January and December 2015, it has conducted 273 eye operations with an average of 25 to 30 operations a month. However, on December 23 alone, it conducted 25 operations. All the patients had been advised the surgery at a camp conducted on December 19 by the hospital.The doc who did it
Dr Hetal Bakhai who first conducted the operations runs a private hospital and also provides services at Sadhu Vaswani hospital. In past 10 years, he has conducted over 40,000 eye surgeries.What the doctors say
“The OT was sterilised yet bacteria was found which infected 12 patients. Topical cataract surgery was performed on all the 25 patients (surgery done without injection). Lower immunity and age factor are behind 12 people getting infected. Two of them, Gyaniben and Ibrahim Habib, might never get their vision back. There are fair chances for the rest to be able to see again.”
— Dr Hetal Bakhai, who first conducted the operations”I conducted the second surgery of eight of the infected patients and I am very positive that they will most likely get their eyesight back. However, that will take around a month and a half. The patients were referred to me by the hospital. When they approached me, their eyes were swollen and there was lot of inflammation in the eyes due to turbid fluid. As a retinal surgeon, my job was to clean the infection.” —Dr Milan Thakkar, who conducted the second round of operationsNames of the patients who lost their vision
Ramnik Damani(64),
Surajba Dilubha (65),
Ibrahim Habib (85),
Rajak Ibrahim (40),
Pravinsinh Chodani (60),
Bhikubhai Ayabkhan (52),
Gyaniben Chatali (63),
Ramniklal Chavda (72),
Hiraben Motwani (70),
Nandaben Ramchandani (50),
Memudaben (60),
Dashrathba Dilubha Sodha (60)-“This incident is definitely a blot on the hospital, but I will term it as an accident and not an incident,” B.B. Gogia, trusteePatients speak
“I spent Rs4,400 on the operation at Sadhu Vaswani and Rs7000 on the second operation by Dr Thakkar. But none of us was issued any receipt by Dr. Thakkar,” —Ramnik Damani”We were also told by Dr Thakkar that he would remove the infection but would not guarantee return of visibility. We were also made to sign papers on that,” another patient

Masuma Bharmal Jariwala

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Gujarat: Botched up cataract surgeries leave 12 without sight