At least seven people are feared to have lost vision in one of their eyes while four others developed serious complications after undergoing cataract surgeries at a charitable hospital in Rajkot.
However, an official from Sadhu Vasvani Trust Hospital, where the surgeries were conducted on December 21, said the loss of vision could be temporary.
Confirming the incident, district health officer Dr Rupali Mehta on Monday said, “It has come to our notice that some people after undergoing cataract operation at the trust hospital are complaining of losing vision. The district health department has started investigation to find out the truth.”
Eleven out of 25 persons who underwent the operation have developed complications, the officer added.
Most of the patients are either middle aged or senior citizen and all of them come from lower or lower middle class. While seven persons have complained loss of vision in one eye, four others have developed complications like irritation and blurring vision.
One of the victims, Bhiku Pathan (55) said he started experiencing irritation in his operated eye three-four days after the surgery and when he went to the hospital for a follow up, he came to know that he has lost vision in that eye.
Auto driver Razak Sandhi said he had taken a loan at an interest of 10% and will not be able to drive anymore due to loss of vision.
When contacted, one of the trustees of the Hospital, B B Gogiya said, “the seven persons who are complaining of loss of vision are being treated at the hospital.
“There are many reasons for the reaction; like they may not have followed the doctor’s instruction (on) quality of eye drops and other individual physical parameters,” Gogiya said, adding that there blindness could be temporary.
He said the hospital has sent the laser machine used for conducting the surgeries for testing at a laboratory.
Gogiya said Dr Hetal Bakhai who performed the surgeries was a qualified ophthalmologist. “He (Bakhai) is a qualified ophthalmologist. The hospital has been doing such type of operations since last one decade but this is the first such incident,” he said.
The seven persons who complained loss of vision are identified as Naniben Chhenani (63), Sarojba Jadeja (60), Pravinsinh Chauhan (62), Ibrahim Juneja (85) and Ramnik Damani (56), besides Sandhi (40) Pathan.
Local Congress councillor Dilip Aswani said he would raise the issue.