Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Monday, 26 October 2009

Botched India surgery 'blinds 10'

Nellore map

A least 10 people have been partially blinded after contracting infections following free cataract operations in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Thirty-four patients, mostly from poor families, were operated on at an eye surgery camp held in Nellore district last week.

One of the doctors at the camp, DV Ramanna Reddy, denied any negligence.

An inquiry panel has been set up to investigate what went wrong with the surgery, state officials said.

Cataract operations are generally considered to be virtually risk free, and easy and cheap to perform.

Denial of negligence

The solutions used in the surgery as well as swabs from the patients have been sent for medical examination.

The eye surgery camp was organised by the Bollineni Global Eye Foundation Hospital based in Nellore.

But 15 patients later reported to the hospital with severe eye pain and headaches. Four had to have their eyes removed in a Madras (Chennai) hospital.

Meanwhile, relatives of the patients have held demonstrations outside the local hospital.

Thousands of older people are operated on for cataracts in special camps and government hospitals every year in India.

In a similar incident in December 2008, nine patients lost their sight after cataract surgery at a government-aided eye hospital in Uttar Pradesh.

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