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AIIMS doctors operate on patient’s wrong eye

A simple cataract surgery turned into a nightmare after doctors at AIIMS operated a patient in the wrong eye, reports Vidya Krishnan.

delhi Updated: Sep 24, 2007 01:37 IST
Vidya Krishnan
Vidya Krishnan
Hindustan Times

For 76-year-old Hemlata Sinha (name changed), a simple cataract surgery turned into a nightmare after doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) operated her in the wrong eye.

And if that is not unscrupulous enough, the team that operated on the Hemlata modified the patient's medical file to cover it up.

When the patient's family approached the doctor at RP Centre, AIIMS, they maintained that the patient's eye had not been damaged due to the procedure. "As per the doctor's instructions, we were putting eye drops in the right eye every 15 minutes since morning. We were surprised to see the left eye patched, when she came back from the operating room," said Sharad Sinha, Hemlata's son.

The surgery was performed on September 20.

Before the procedure, the doctors had explained to us that both eyes are never operated at one go for cataract. And they went and operated the eye, which had not been medicated. The other eye had cataract. "We did not expect this at AIIMS," added Sinha.

According to the doctors, both eyes had cataract and pupils of both the eyes were dilated, which caused the confusion. "We cannot blame the senior consultant for the goof-up because he just comes and does the procedure. The responsibility rests with someone in the team who was preparing the patient for the procedure and did not point out to the consultant," said Dr Shakti Gupta, Medical Superintendent, RP Centre.

"This should not have happened but fortunately the patient has not suffered any permanent damage. The patient will come for follow up visits and also for cataract operation in the right eye. We will be monitoring her condition and will take corrective measures," added Dr Gupta.

First Published: Sep 24, 2007 01:33 IST