Twenty people may lose their vision partially after they were injected with a contaminated medicine in their eyes at Guru Teg Bahadur hospital on Saturday.
Of the 20, eight were surgically treated to save their vision at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Sunday.
“Some had mild reaction and were just kept under observation, but eight of them needed a vitrectomy, a surgery to remove the infectious part of the vitreous humor. We hope that all of them get most of their vision back,” said Dr Atul Kumar, head of the Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS.
One of the vials of the medicine — Avastin — used by GTB doctors was contaminated. “Twenty doses can be prepared from a single vial of the drug and because of one contaminated bottle, the people who received the drug developed an acute reaction,” said Dr Kumar.
Avastin is a standard treatment for blindness prevention due to ageing, diabetes, hypertension and rupturing blood vessels. The medicine is imported from Switzerland and USA.
“My brother received the injection in his eye on Saturday. He was called for a routine check-up the next morning. He had pain and red eyes. The doctors were concerned and immediately called their seniors. My brother was sent to AIIMs for a surgery,” said Jaswinder Singh, whose brother had been receiving treatment at the ophthalmology department of GTB hospital for more than a month.
He had ruptured vessels in his retina.
After Satish Kumar’s father received the injection, he started losing his vision and developed a pain in his eyes. He had been receiving treatment at GTB for diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina due to diabetes.
“He had a surgery at AIIMS yesterday (on Monday). The doctors have said that his vision will come back to normal in about a month,” said Kumar.
Guru Teg Bahadur hospital’s medical director, Dr Sunil Kumar, said the samples have been sent for testing.