Following mismanaged eye surgeries at the Hinduhrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Hospital that resulted in about seven patients suffering an infection, the BMC transferred the hospital’s Medical Superintendent and suspended the head of the unit, Dr Anil Chaudhari. Two other doctors who assisted Chaudhari in the surgeries were issued notices.
A preliminary inquiry report submitted to the Additional Municipal Commissioner stated that standard operating procedure was not followed while operating on seven patients on January 4. Six of these patients underwent cataract surgeries while one underwent a secondary intraocular lens implantation surgery. One patient suffered loss in vision and two others lost vision partially. Four other patients suffered varying loss of vision.
Additional Municipal Commissioner, Idzes Kundan, said that according to the report, the instruments used for such procedures have to be properly sterilized. Global standards were not followed at the hospital. He added that this was a clear case of negligence.
Instruments used for eye procedures, such as cataract or intraocular lens implantation surgeries, require an autoclave. In this case, the autoclave procedure was not undertaken before the surgeries were done. The BMC had initiated an inquiry by doctors of KEM and Dr R N Cooper Hospitals after the incident became known.
Dr H S Bawa, Medical Superintendent at the hospital, mentioned that Chaudhari has been conducting the procedures for the last five years and such an incident has never happened before. Bawa was transferred to the MAA Hospital in Chembur.
Last week, BJP corporator Abhijeet Samant had demanded an inquiry into the matter and alleged that patients lost their eyesight due to the surgeries. Samant had claimed that after the procedures, the patients’ dressings were opened on January 5 and they suffered inflammation. They were referred to KEM Hospital, but the infection had already affected their vision.
Samant alleged that lack of cleanliness in the hospital is the key reason behind the botched procedures. He alleged that surgical instruments are cleaned by untrained staff. He added that there is an urgent need to provide compensation to the patients.
Dr Hemant Deshmukh, Dean at KEM, said that one patient has lost vision completely. The loss in vision is suspected to have been caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.