Hyderabad: A three-member external team of ophthalmologists and healthcare specialists will be visiting the Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital on Saturday for an investigation into the contaminated saline incident.
The committee will have Dr J. Panduranga, superintendent of Regional Eye Hospital, Warangal, Dr Venkateshwar, joint director, National Programme for Control of Blindness and Dr Ravi Shankar, an ophthalmology professor from Nizamabad.
Meanwhile, the hospital has also formed an internal committee comprising four doctors. The internal team are working on a report which will be released soon.
Earlier, the Lokayukta took Suo motu cognizance of the incident.
On Friday, director(investigations), Narsimha Reddy and Mohammad Tajuddin, deputy director(investigations) from the Lokayukta visited the hospital and recorded statements of five patients.
The investigators spoke with relatives too. On Saturday, the investigators are set to record statements of the deputy superintendent of the hospital, Dr Rajender Gupta. Statements from other doctors, who conducted the surgeries on five patients, will be recorded and a report is expected next week.
Nagpur-based pharma firm under the scanner
The Telangana Drugs Control Administration is now focussing all its attention on Nagpur-based Haseeb Pharmaceuticals — the firm which supplied the alleged bacteria-infected saline bottles to Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital.
The DCA collected 35 samples of sodium chloride injections, 58 samples of sodium lactate injections and one sample of ciprofloxacin from all government hospitals across Telangana on Thursday and Friday.
The two days were marked as state government holidays but drug inspectors, across all districts, worked to collect the samples. M. Amruth Rao, joint director of the licensing and controlling authority of the Telangana DCA, said: “The samples will be tested at the DCA’s laboratory. The process will take around 14 days — after which a report will be released. All further official action will be based on this report. Rest assured, action will be taken if the samples are found to be faulty.”
In another related development, nearly 7,000 saline bottles belonging to Haseeb Pharmaceuticals were seized from government hospitals and primary health centers in Mahbubnagar.
Kin plan to approach consumer forum
The kin of one of the five victims has decided to approach the courts and the consumer forum for compensation. Jitender Reddy, a lawyer practising at the Nampally court and son in law of S. Anji Reddy, 75, one of the five patients whose eyes were damaged by contaminated saline, said: “I have decided to use every constitutional tool available to get some clarity on the issue — which none of the patients or their kin currently have. I’m also going to file an RTI demanding in detail the sequence of the doctors' actions since the operations took place on June 30. I have also decided to approach the consumer forum to demand a suitable compensation.”
He continued: “And apart from this, I have decided to file a public interest litigation at the Hyderabad High Court to demand action against the negligence shown by the state government, which led to all this.”...