The eye wash manufactured by a Madhya Pradesh based company has caused fungal infection and blindness amongst the 45 patients in Barwani. This startling revelation has come in the report submitted by Dr NK Agrawal, deputy director general for National Programme for Control of Blindness, to the state government.
On a visit to the state to observe and present a bird’s eye view in the entire Barwani case, Dr Agrawal was amongst the two member committee who gave their report to the joint director Dr Sharad Pandit.
Highlighting that the blindness has been caused due to Fusarium Aspergillus a type of fungal infection, Dr Agrawal also said that apart from the eye wash nothing could have caused such infection. “Eye wash is used while conducting a surgery. It is commonly supplied to every department of a hospital and is used as a sterlising agent. What could have possibly caused an infection here is this eye wash, which was supplied under the brand of ‘Berry’.”
Dr Agrawal said that usually the lowest bidder gets the order to supply the eye wash (which is essentially saline water) to hospitals and there is a strong possibility that its quality was suspect.
“The date of manufacture on the eye wash was January 2015 and was slated to expire in December 2015. The infection could have been caused by filling the eye-wash in non-sterilized or improperly sterilized plastic bottles by the manufacturer,” said Dr Agrawal.
Seizing a total of 2000 bottles from the district hospital Barwani, the two member committee which also had assistant commissioner Dr V Rajshekhar as its member pointed out the poor condition of the operation theatre. “The OT badly requires renovation and ideally is not a place where operations should take place.” Dr Rajshekhar said it was not possible for them to determine the level of hygeine maintained during the camp as they reached the spot 15 days after the camp took place.
The report was highly critical about the entire hospital and the manner in which these camps are being held. The duo have also mentioned in their report that a serious post operative care needs to be followed in all such cases to avoid future complications. “We have suggested that every eye surgeon from every state be sent for a continuous medical education programme wherein he is given lessons on operation theatre sterlisation,” added Dr Agrawal.