7 patients in Mumbai hospital suffer partial vision loss due to unsterilised tools
Unsterilised surgical equipment and inadequate sanitation at Jogeshwari’s HBT Trauma Hospital are to be blamed for the partial vision loss of seven ophthalmology patients, Idzes Kundan, additional municipal commissioner (health) said.
“The internal committee report found that the surgical scope used during the procedures wasn’t sterilised before being used on different patients,” he said.
Dr Ganesh Shinde, dean, RN Cooper Hospital, who heads the administrative operations at HBT Trauma Hospital, remained unavailable for a comment.
On January 4, six patients underwent cataract surgery while Sangeeta Rajbhar, 56, underwent an intraocular lens implant surgery. The next day, all seven developed redness around their eyes. They suffered from various degrees of vision loss. Medical superintendent H Bawa was demoted and transferred. Operating surgeon Anil Chaudhari and two others were suspended.
While six patients have now been discharged, Rajbhar is still undergoing treatment at KEM Hospital, 24 days after the incident. She has perception of light but cannot identify shapes or colours, said doctors treating her.
An investigation by KEM Hospital revealed that the patients suffered a severe bacterial infection of pseudomonas aeruginosa — a pathogen commonly responsible for causing hospital-acquired infections.
Sanjay Nirupam, president of Congress’ Mumbai unit, who visited the hospital, said on Monday that the hospital does not even have a designated staff for dressing patients’ wounds. “It’s sad that patients had to suffer sight loss due to the lack of quarantine measures,” said Nirupam.