Hospital fined for botched eye surgery after 12 years

13 March, 2016

Chennai: Around 12 years after a woman lost vision in her right eye because of medical negligence, a consumer forum has slapped the private hospital with a fine of around Rs1.29 lakh. 


S Kamatchi of Avadi said she was wearing bi-focal lenses for poor vision in her right eye. Her husband, M Sriraman contacted Dr S K Krishnaraj of Dr Bhat's Hospital in Ambattur, who advised the former to get his wife admitted in the hospital for immediate laser cataract surgery. The doctor also guaranteed to restore her vision. She underwent the surgery on August 31, 2004. 


The bandage was removed after 10 days, following which Kamatchi realized she lost vision in her right eye. The doctor, however, assured her that her vision will be restored in a few hours. But, when there was no recovery, she went back to the hospital on September 12, 2004. She was admitted to the hospital and referred to Shankar Nethralaya after two days. Saying the "irrelevant surgery" had led to permanent loss in vision, she moved the district consumer disputes redressal forum, Tiruvallur seeking compensation for medical negligence.

Denying the arguments, the doctor said Kamatchi was advised of the procedure, risks and post-operative complications of the surgery.. The surgery and the post-operative period were without any complications. After being discharged, she was advised to regularly apply the prescribed eye drops and report for a follow up after three days. Kamatchi, however, reported for follow up, only with an inordinate delay of 16 hours with complaint of pain and loss of vision. She also admitted to not applying the eye drops regularly. After being admitted, she was provided the "best treatment" for showing signs of a post-operative complication. As her condition did not improve, Kamatchi was referred to Sankara Nethralaya.


President of the forum, S Pandian said the hospital had admitted Kamatchi and referred her to Sankara Nethralaya after two days. This, created suspicion over the nature of treatment provided by the hospital. "It goes without saying that even an hour of delay endangers human life," said the forum adding, despite Kamatchi losing her vision, she was referred to another hospital after an inordinate delay of two days.