Haryana health minister Anil Vij on Tuesday told the state assembly that the causes of infection which put the eyesight of 18 persons in danger after they were operated upon at a Panipat eye camp could be due to the irrigation fluid, continuous use of same phaco tube and sleeve, improper sterilisation technique used in phaco operation and use of same keratome.
Vij said this was documented by the inquiry committee formed under a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM). “It is a case of medical negligence where the doctor and the organiser were responsible. Hence, an FIR had been lodged against office-bearers of the Samaj Sewa Samiti, Samalkha, Panipat, management of Navjeevan Hospital, Panipat, and Dr Ankur Gupta, eye surgeon, along with his supporting staff of Navjeevan Hospital,” the health minister said while replying to a calling attention notice by Congress MLA Kuldeep Sharma regarding the loss of eyesight of 13 persons due to the eye operation camp in Panipat recently.
He said as per the report given by assistant professor, department of eye, PGIMER, Chandigarh, the cause of failure of operation was an infection due to pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Vij said these camps could not be held without the prior permission of the district authorities. While the National Programme for the Control of Blindness (NPCB) has issued strict guidelines for conducting an eye camps, the NGO in question — the Samaj Sewa Samiti Samalkha — never got registered with the District Blindness Control Society (DBCS), Panipat. The Samaj Sewa Samiti also never took any permission to hold eye camps. He said the permission to hold a surgical eye camp is granted by the chief medical officer and also district collector after assessing the operation theatre proposed to be used, facilities for sterilisation of operation theatre etc.
“Looking at the seriousness of the incident, the state government ordered a magisterial inquiry. A team, including chief medical officer, Panipat, two government eye surgeons and a government microbiologist, investigated the matter and fixed the responsibility of eye specialist Dr Ankur Gupta, the hospital staff and the Samaj Sewa Samiti. “The responsibility for care of these patients has been taken by the state government by bearing all the expenses of their treatment at PGIMER, Chandigarh,” the health minister said.