Did the eye surgery camp have permission of the health authorities?
The Gurdaspur civil surgeon said the NGO had applied for permission to hold the eye camp, but it was not granted as the hospital concerned did not have an eye operation theatre. Under the National Programme to Control Blindness, camps can be set up by NGOs only in partnership with the District Blindness Control Society; the consent of the district commissioner and the chief medical officer is mandatory.
Were the surgeries done in a clinical setting?
The 20-bed Guru Nanak Multi-Specialty Hospital at Ghuman in Gurdaspur district, where the cataract surgeries were done, has a general operation theatre instead of an eye operation theatre.
Were the patients examined after the surgery?
Surgeries were conducted in the night and patients were discharged next morning. No check-up was done by the doctor concerned after the operation.
Were the affected patients given antibiotic drops and asked to return for follow-up, especially in case of symptoms such as swollen eyes, watering and decreasing vision?
A majority of the patients said the needful was not done, but local doctors claimed that some of them who felt complications were provided antibiotic and eye drops. However, no follow-up was done. According to Dr Jeevan S Titliyal, professor at RP Centre of Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, “A follow-up (in cases of cataract operations) is done the next day and patients are told to report any eye-related problem over the next two months. A follow-up two to four weeks after the surgery is a must.”
How many surgeries were done over how many days?
During the eye camp, as many as 38 cataract surgeries were conducted on October 31, 21 on November 2, 48 on November 3 and 49 on November 4. All these operations were done by one doctor (Dr Vivek Arora). Normally, a doctor performs 25 cataract operations in a day.