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60 patients lose vision after operation at eye camp in Punjab

Source: PTI
December 05, 2014 01:44 IST
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At least 60 persons have lost their eyesight after an operation at an eye camp organised by an NGO in Gurdaspur district, civil and medical authorities said.

While 16 persons belonged to villages of Amritsar the rest were from Gurdaspur district. All of them were admitted in city ENT hospitals of Amritsar and Gursdaspur.

Confirming the incident, Deputy Commissioner Amritsar, Ravi Bhagat, said 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.

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.

The incident comes days after 11 women died and 34 were reported critical after undergoing "faulty" sterilisation surgeries at a government-organised family planning camp in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh.

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