Botched cataract surgeries: FIR against doctors, staff of Bihar hospital
Patna: An FIR has been filed by the district administration against a team of doctors and other staffers from the private hospital in North Bihar after botched cataract surgeries at a Muzaffarpur hospital resulted people losing their sight.People in large numbers had undergone cataract surgery at a free medical camp organised by Eye Hospital on November 22. However, many among them developed...
Patna: An FIR has been filed by the district administration against a team of doctors and other staffers from the private hospital in North Bihar after botched cataract surgeries at a Muzaffarpur hospital resulted people losing their sight.
People in large numbers had undergone cataract surgery at a free medical camp organised by Eye Hospital on November 22. However, many among them developed an infection. When the patients' bandages were removed a couple of days after the surgery, they found they could not see with the affected eyes. Doctors advised removal of the eyes.
The matter became public after several of the patients visited the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur on Tuesday to get their eyes surgically removed.
District magistrate Pranav Kumar alleged that a Muzaffarpur-based eye surgeon had performed "all the surgeries in a day", in violation of erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI) now National Medical Commission (NMC) guidelines that stipulate that an eye surgeon cannot perform more than 12 surgeries on a single day.
District magistrate Kumar stated, "Some 65 or 66 people had cataract surgery at Eye Hospital. We have made a list of their names and addresses."
He added, "Swabs from their eyes are being sent for tests. At least 20 are being currently treated according to the level of their infection."
Health department stated that the probe team had found out that 328 people had undergone cataract surgery between November 22 and November 28 at Eye Hospital. The same doctor is suspected to have conducted all the surgeries.
On Wednesday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sent a notice to the Bihar government over reports that eyes of some patients had to be removed allegedly due to "botched-up" cataract surgeries done recently at a hospital in Muzaffarpur, officials told PTI.
In a statement, the NHRC said it has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that the "eyes of six patients had to be removed at Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) due to botched up cataract surgeries at Muzaffarpur Eye Hospital on November 22."
Doctors may need to remove the eyes of more patients due to infections after the surgery, the rights panel said while observing that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of human rights violation.
"According to medical protocol, a doctor can conduct up to 12 surgeries. But in this case, the doctor conducted surgery on 65 patients," it said.
The NHRC observed that conducting eye surgeries in such a "reckless manner violating medical protocols" is a "serious matter of concern".
Accordingly, the panel has issued a notice to the chief secretary, Government of Bihar, seeking a detailed report, the NHRC statement said.
"The report is expected to inform about the exact number of patients who have lost their eyes, status of the medical treatment being provided to them and the relief provided by the state government, including action against the responsible officers /doctors. The response is expected within four weeks," it said.
According to media reports on December 1, in most of the cases, the "cornea of the patients is badly damaged and there are chances that the infection could reach their brains", the statement said.
"The condition of six patients is very serious. The hospital authorities tried to hush up the matter and did not inform the district administration or the state health department till an inquiry was conducted. The authorities have, reportedly, stopped activities in the Muzaffarpur Eye Hospital and a team of the doctors, headed by ACMO is conducting investigation in the matter," it added.
Meanwhile, patients and their relatives have been demanding compensation from the hospital alleging medical negligence.
Muzaffarpur Civil Surgeon Vinay Kumar Sharma stated, "FIR has been lodged against the medical team that conducted surgery. There is prima facie violation of a doctor conducting more than 12 surgeries in a day. Besides, we are looking at other possible violations by the hospital.
A team of health officials that district magistrate Pranav Kumar had assigned to probe the matter suspected the infection spread from the operation theatre and has sealed it, reports The Telegraph.
A team from the Bihar health department will be visiting the district to further assess the situation.
Bihar additional secretary health Pratyaya Amrit told The Indian Express, "The guilty would be brought to the book. We are taking stock of the situation".
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