Thirteen patients, who underwent a cataract surgery at the Globe Eye Foundation, Bollineni Eye Hospital & Research Centre, Nellore were referred to Sankara Nethralaya when they failed to respond to treatment following complaints of pain, redness and blurring of vision.
The patients were diagnosed to have post-operative Endophthalmitis (an infection within the eye). They were given aggressive treatment with topical and systemic treatment and other medication. Five patients who had very severe infection underwent Evisceration — removal of the contents of the eyeball — to prevent spread of the infection into the meninges.
Terming the incident as “unfortunate,” doctors at Sankara Nethralaya have said that the reason for the loss of vision was not due to negligence on part of the doctors at the Nellore hospital but due to an infection caused by a virulent bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Addressing press persons recently, Chairman Emeritus Dr. Badrinath said, “The campsite was a hospital and not any random place. This bacteria is deadly because it can survive even in anti-septic solutions. They can be found anywhere from the surface of the eye to the operation theatre surfaces to intra ocular solutions used for surgeries. The hospital has to identify the sources within the hospital to see where it colonises.”
While Sankara Nethralaya doctors performed multiple surgical procedures on the remaining eight patients to salvage their eyes, five of them, unfortunately, have no perception of light. Of the remaining three who have vision, one has retinal detachment.
Meanwhile, the bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, on culture, showed the same phenotype character, indicating that the origin of the infection could probably be from a single source. To confirm that the origin was from a single type of bacteria, the genetics laboratory at the Vision Research Foundation, an exclusive Research organisation attached to Sankara Nethralaya is carrying out a DNA sequencing to determine the genetic character of the organisms. This type of genetic sequencing could help in zeroing in on the source of infection which would help all eye hospitals to prevent such infections in future.
Express News Service