Published On : Thu, Jul 7th, 2016

Nagpur’s Haseeb Pharma refutes charges of contaminated solution blinding 7 in Hyderabad

sarojini devi eye hospital
 Even as the doctors at government-run Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital in Hyderabad passed the buck on Nagpur based Haseeb Pharmaceuticals for the lost vision of 7 cataract patients, back home the company has rubbished the claims and termed it as negligence on the part of doctors. Even a report published in Indian Express supported the company’s claims as it quoted hospital sources as saying that the medicines were not contaminated and that contamination took place inside the operation theatre. Meanwhile a case has been registered against doctors.

It may be mentioned that seven people who underwent cataract surgery at the Hyderabad based hospital had lost their vision in at least one eye after botched-up surgeries.Twenty-one people had been operated on June 30 for cataract, of which 13 contracted infection in their eyes. They complained of unbearable pain and pus formation in their eye as well as incessant vomiting soon after the surgery, and were immediately taken for re-surgery. However, the matter came to light on Wednesday when seven people complained that they had still not recovered their vision.

Talking to Nagpur Today, Managing Director of Haseeb Pharmaceuticals Yusuf Badar claimed that all the products that are manufactured and bottled undergoes a series of quality control. The stringent quality controls exist at the three levels, one during the production, before bottling/packing, at the warehouse etc. He added that even before a good is supplied to any hospital, a test is carried by a laboratory and only when the test results come clear is the good supplied.

Yusuf Badar said that during investigations, it had come to fore that the product was cleared for supply by the local laboratory which performed tests on the product.

The hospital records revealed that it had a stock of 540 bottles of RL solution at the time of the incident, all of which were procured from Haseeb Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd. The doctors said that the saline was used for washing the eyes of patients during surgery.

However One major point that clears the name of Haseeb Pharmaceuticals is that the Saline Solution which was supplied was for intravenous use and is clearly mentioned in the label of the product.

Even if the doctors have to use it for flushing (during surgeries); they are supposed to mix it (with antibiotics etc) in a technique known as Aseptic technique. This technique is a method designed to prevent contamination from microorganisms and involves applying the strictest rules and utilizing what is known about infection prevention to minimize the risks of an infection. This technique was probably not followed by the Hospital authorities.

Andhra Pradesh government has also constituted a committee to conduct an enquiry into the botched up surgeries, while Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy said his government will take action against the supplier.

This isn’t the first time that such an incident has occurred at the hospital. Three years earlier, bacteria contamination in saline was blamed for an infection that affected about 15 people, reported The Hindu.

Yusuf Badar also alleged that there have been previous similar cases reported of the hospital. He added that the hospital authorities do not sterilize the equipments not autoclave the essential equipment used in such a sensitive part.