Years after losing vision in one eye due to administration of a spurious drug, a 78-year-old man has now been awarded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh by the state consumer forum.

After hearing the case, the forum held Neoretina Eyecare Institute and its consultant retinal surgeon, A Srinivas, responsible for the incident and said that the complainant, Vinod Sanghi, lost vision in his left eye due to their negligence.

Previously, Sanghi, in his complaint, submitted that he approached the eye institute on February 15, 2014, with poor vision in his left eye. Following a thorough check-up, he was advised to take an intravitreal injection, which he did on payment of Rs 9,000 on February 20.

After Sanghi approached Dr Srinivas complaining of watering, severe pain and redness in the eye soon after, doctors performed a ‘Pars Plana Vitrectomy’ — a surgical procedure that involves removal of vitreous gel from the eye — the following day. He was also asked to come for a review the next day.

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While the doctors, the complainant submitted, made him undergo multiple procedures thereafter, and also insisted that he keep returning for reviews, his condition did not improve. In the meantime, Sanghi said, the hospital authorities informed him about a complaint they had lodged with the police and drug inspector about supply of spurious drugs. They had also sent samples for drug analysis, he added.

On scanning some documents, the complainant found that the injection ‘Avastin’ ordered by the said doctor had been administered to eight other patients. Shockingly, all of them, he unearthed, had developed an infection within 24 hours of it and had multiple surgeries performed on them.

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Sanghi decided to take the eye care centre to court after an assistant surgeon at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital — he went there on April 23, 2014 as there was no sign of recovery to his eye — rendered him visually challenged.

In their counter, Neoretina Eyecare submitted that after one of the patients, administered with the same drug from the same vial, complained of pain, redness and decreased vision, they inquired with all their patients, including the complainant, if they were suffering from the said symptoms and even asked them to report to the hospital immediately.

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However, they claimed that Sanghi ignored their request and that his delay in visiting hospital, for review, lead to complications. They agreed to have, subsequently, found that the drug was contaminated and said that they reported the same to the concerned officials.

While they insisted that there had been no deficiency of service and maintained that they had performed various procedures and even given free medicines to the patient, it failed to convince the forum. The trial bench, in its verdict, upheld it as a case of medical negligence both by the hospital and the doctor. #KhabarLive

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