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India Today
20 August 2010
By Rohini Swamy
Hyderabad, India

Five patients were blinded after undergoing cataract surgery in a leading private eye hospital in Hyderabad recently.

Balamma was one of the five patients who got admitted to Sarojini Eye Hospital for the cataract operation, considered a routine procedure performed on the eye. Though she was hoping to be able to see clearly after the operation, what happened was exactly opposite as she lost her vision forever.

"I could see before the operation, but after it I cannot see at all. The doctors said I have developed infection and I will regain my sight after the fever comes down, but nothing has happened," Balamma alleged.

Balamma was one of the 24 patients who were operated upon on August 14. Post-surgery, five of them developed severe infection resulting in complete blindness.

Another victim Raju said, "I could see a little when I came to this hospital, but after the operation I cannot see anything. The doctor said I will regain the vision. They gave us some injections but nothing happened."

"I could not read small words earlier. They operated on me thrice. It is because of the negligence of the doctor that this has happened to me. What will happen to my future? Now they say it is our mistake that it turned septic due to our carelessness," said yet another patient Shantamma.

Ironically, Sarojini Eye Hospital is considered high one of the best eye hospitals in the city. Now, as a face saving measure, the hospital has constituted a committee to investigate the incident.

Hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Vidyavati said, "We are doing all that we can do in our powers. 24 patients were operated out of which five have developed infection. The condition of one is serious, two others are stable and two of them are status quo. We have sent the samples for test and we would also like to know the exact cause of infection."

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