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Husband deserts blinded wife Friday, August 10, 2001
BY RADHA SHARMA, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Lakhiben Thakore has lost more than her eye in the recent blinding accident at the Sadvichar Parivar Eye Hospital, Naroda. This 35-year-old woman has been deserted by her husband, who apparently does not want to burden himself with a blind woman.
Lakhiben had re-married just three months ago after losing her first husband.
It has been almost a fortnight since 22 people lost their sight, and another 11 people suffered acute eye-infection, after undergoing cataract operations at Sadvichar Parivar Hospital between July 7 and July 14.
After the initial attention and institution of a state inquiry, little has changed for these patients. If at all anything has changed, it's been for the worse.
Not once has Lakhiben's husband come to visit his ailing wife. "My marriage has ended even before it could take off. My husband says why should he waste his time on a blind woman," rues Lakhiben.
Lakhiben's only source of support was her mother. Now, she, too, has been confined to bed ever since she heard news of her daughter's blinding.
Patients complain that despite such a tragedy, medical care at the hospital continues to remain pathetic. For instance, when Shantaben Satsangi, 60, started vomiting and complained of dizziness hours after getting pus removed from her infected eye on Monday afternoon, there was no doctor at the hospital. "There was no one here ... we had to shift her to a private hospital", said husband Dinesh Satsangi.
Another victim, Kamlaben Rathod, was also taken to a private hospital when her upper arm started aching badly after taking a pain-killer injection at the hospital. Her problem was diagnosed as skin necrosis. "After the eye, her arm has also developed a problem. I do not know what is in store next," rues Kamalben.
Meanwhile, a great deal of confusion prevails amongst the patients about the actual cause of infection and what exactly is going to be their medical fate. "One day they tell us the eye will have to be removed, the next day they say it is all right and again a day later they declare removal is must! Who are we -- animals? Why can't they own up the responsibility and decide for once and for all?" fumes Sitaben.
Contradictory to health minister Suresh Mehta's contention in the Assembly that only two patients have lost their eyes, relatives of patients informed that eyes of six-patients had already been removed and two more patients were lined up on Tuesday. There would have been more if not for the drafting of the letter of consent by the hospital which the relatives are finding objectionable.
"The hospital management wants us to sign a letter saying that the eye has got infected because of infected medicine and we consent to its removal. How can we sign such a letter and vindicate them just like that?" questions Jagdish Goswami, relative of victim Laxmi Goswami who is slated for an eye-removal anytime.
Goswami and other relatives are wanting to re-draft the letter saying that we agree to eye-removal as hospital says that the eye has got infected because of infected medicine, and it should be removed.
Interestingly, while the hospital has refused owning up for the accident, and has conveniently put the entire blame on Wokhardt-manufactured Ringer-Lactate (RL) Eye Irrigating Solution -- that was allegedly found contaminated by private lab-investigation got done by the hospital -- sterility tests done by the Food and Drug commissionerate have not shown any infection in the said solution. "The RL solution was found to be sterile. On the other hand, the IV sets used have failed the sterility test. We had already sealed manufacturing premises of Max Medi Care and will initiate stringent action against the company," said food and drug commissioner AD Adeshra.
News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]