Gurdaspur eye camp tragedy: 60 patients lose vision after cataract operation in Punjab

In yet another shocking case of medical negligence, at least 60 persons have lost their eyesight after an operation at a free medical camp organised by an NGO in Gurdaspur district, civil and medical authorities said on Thursday.

Updated: Dec 06, 2014, 02:49 AM IST
Gurdaspur eye camp tragedy: 60 patients lose vision after cataract operation in Punjab

Amritsar: In yet another shocking case of medical negligence, at least 60 persons have lost their eyesight after an operation at a free medical camp organised by an NGO in Gurdaspur district, civil and medical authorities said on Thursday.

The incident comes barely a month after the faulty sterilisation surgeries at a government-organised family planning camp in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh, in which at least 11 women died and 34 were reported critical.

In the latest incident in Punjab, according to reports, while 16 persons belonged to villages of Amritsar the rest were from Gurdaspur district. All of the senior citizens were admitted in city ENT hospitals respectively.

Confirming the incident, Deputy Commissioner Amritsar, Ravi Bhagat, said here that the 16 affected patients admitted to the city ENT Hospital are under the supervision of Assistant Professor Karamjit Singh. Singh said that all of them have permanently lost their vision.

The people who lost their eyesight were all aged above 60 years. They were admitted to the Amritsar Medical College hospital, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said.

Bhagat said that a high-level inquiry has been ordered to find the doctors who performed the operations at the camp.

Giving details, Civil Surgeon Amritsar, Rajiv Bhalla, said all the patients were operated at an eye camp in Ghuman village of Gurdaspur district around ten days ago.

The incident emerged when all the 16 patients, who belonged to Amritsar, approached Deputy Commissioner Bhagat to lodge a complaint against the NGO and doctors concerned.

Bhalla said,"It was found that there were a total of 60 patients and sixteen of them were from Amritsar, rest were from Gurdaspur district."

He said that cataract surgery in the eye camp was performed under "severe unhygienic condition" whereupon eyes of all the 60 patients were found damaged permanently.

Bhalla said that before organising the eye camp, mandatory permission was required from the district Administration and Civil Surgeons of Gurdaspur and Amritsar but all the norms were not followed.

Bhalla said that all the affected patients were above the age of 60 with poor economical condition. They are being provided free medical treatment in the ENT hospital of Amritsar and Gurdaspur.

(With Agency inputs)