22 people infected after eye surgery in Vietnam

Thursday, June 17, 2010

HANOI - Twenty-two patients in Vietnam have contracted severe infections and some may suffer permanent sight loss due to contamination of a chemical used during surgery, officials said Thursday. The chemical was produced by an Indian pharmaceutical company.

Some of the affected patients at the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital may need to have one or both eyes removed, said Ly Ngoc Kinh, an official at the ministry of health.

One of the patients had already had an eye removed following the infection, according to one news report. Another report said that two patients were likely to go blind as a result.

Doctors have blamed the infections on contamination of a batch of the tissue-staining agent Trypan Blue, manufactured by the Indian pharmaceutical company Khosla Medical and Surgical Inc. The agent is used to highlight eye structure during surgery.

Ministry of Health tests confirmed that bottles from a batch of Trypan Blue were contaminated with the blue pus bacillus, psuedomonas aeruginosa.

Representatives of the Viet My Mechanical Equipment Company, which imported the drug, refused to comment.

The patients developed bruises and pus in their eyes last month following surgery at the hospital.

Hospital officials have asked Khosla to acknowledge responsibility and compensate the victims, but the company has yet to respond.

Health officials said they had recalled Khosla’s Trypan Blue from health institutions around the country.

Filed under: Eye Surgery, World

Tags: ,
will not be displayed