Patients lose eyes after surgeries in Multan; hospital blames infection

Published April 3, 2021
Several patients of a batch of 16 people, who had their eyes operated upon from a private hospital on March 20, which is on the panel of Sehat Sahulat Programme, have lost their eyesight after operations. — Reuters/File
Several patients of a batch of 16 people, who had their eyes operated upon from a private hospital on March 20, which is on the panel of Sehat Sahulat Programme, have lost their eyesight after operations. — Reuters/File

MULTAN: Several patients of a batch of 16 people, who had their eyes operated upon from a private hospital on March 20, which is on the panel of Sehat Sahulat Programme, have lost their eyesight after operations, Dawn has learnt. The hospital administration, however, says that the eyesight of 11 patients was affected from post-surgery infections.

Jeevan (45), of Hamidpur Kanora, told Dawn that although he had the Sehat Insaf Card for the last more than one year but never used it until he decided to get his left eye treated as he was facing problems. He said that he called the Laeeque Rafiq Hospital which is on the top of the list of the health card for an appointment.

The hospital included him on the list of the first batch of the patients after a check-up for a surgery on March 20.

He said that he along other patients was operated upon and on March 21 when the bandage was removed from his eyes, he was unable to see. He said he was able to see from the left eye before the operation.

“As soon as the bandage was removed at 8am, I told the hospital staff that I had lost the vision; however, I was asked to wait until the doctor examined me. The doctor examined me at 3pm and soon discharged me after giving me painkiller tablets and eye drops,” he said.

He said that he was asked to visit the hospital for a check-up after one week.

“I was not feeling well as there was unbearable pain in my left eye. I went to the hospital the next day. The doctor only changed drops and gave me 10 injections. I followed the instructions but the issues of eyesight loss and constant tearing still exist,” he said.

He said that all the patients who were operated upon with him have no vision in their operated eyes.

Jeevan is a house painter.

Dr Hasnain Mushtaq who conducted the operations said that he has been conducting surgeries in various hospitals for 19 years and that he has conducted thousands of operations.

“I used my best expertise to operate the first batch of the patients in the Laeeq Rafique Hospital as well. Nothing went wrong on that day. Complications started after two to three days and the reason behind these complications could be certain infections. Anyhow, whatever has happened is unfortunate,” he said.

Mumtaz Khan, hospital manager, said that the surgeries were conducted free of cost.

“As it was the first batch of the patients whose surgeries were being conducted, the board of the hospital decided that deserving patients would be selected from Sehat Insaf Card recipients and their surgeries will be conducted free of cost,” he said.

He said that total 11 out of 16 patients suffered from the postoperative complications, of which seven have recovered completely.

“The infection control committee of the hospital has collected the samples, sealed the operation theater and sent samples to the lab. No bad intention was behind any act of the hospital administration and surgeries were conducted with best expertise and equipment,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer district Health Authority Dr Arshad Malik said his department has nothing to do with the matter.

Nasir, a Regional Healthcare Commission official, said that the commission deals only with the administrative issues and the head office deals with such issues.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2021

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