Srinagar: As many as 185 persons whose eyes have been damaged by pellet ammunition were received at the SMHS Hospital, and 20 of them have both their eyes damaged, said principal GMC Dr Kaiser Ahmad.
“Three (of them) are badly injured and are still under treatment or management and it is too early to say these patients have lost their vision in both the eyes,” said Dr Kaiser Ahmad in compliance to court’s direction, seeking response to some media reports that six people have been completely blinded.
He said 148 patients have been operated upon and four of them have been referred to AIIMS, New Delhi, for “further management”.
“Timely treatment has been and is being provided to each and every patient,” he said, rejecting reports that SMHS hospital lacks equipment in Ophthalmology department.
“The department is fully equipped to deal with any kind of eye trauma including Pellet injuries. Both vitrectomy units are working and functional. It is specifically denied that it is difficult to conduct all the urgent surgeries in the given time frame,” he said.
Dr Kaiser said that 130 patients also need secondary intervention after 3-4 weeks which includes also retinal surgeries.
“Ophthalmology has four operating eye theatres plus one emergency theatre. Since July 9 (non-emergent nature) of the department has been stopped and department devotes full attention to treat these trauma patients which include pellet injuries also. So it is not true that hospital can conduct only 3-4 patients per day.”
For speedy disposal of retina patients, he said, the services of internationally renowned retina surgeon of India Dr. S. Natrajan ( Director Adity Jyoti Mumbai) and his team has been sought from July 26 who will assist the three retina surgeons already existing in the faculty of GMC, Srinagar.
He said that a six-member Committee of Experts in the field of Ophthalmology has already been constituted to evaluate the requirements, both equipment and human resources, and other logistic support, if required.
Regarding 5-year-old boy Naseer Ahmad, admitted in SMHS hospital with eye injury, he said that the child has undergone primary repair of left eye on July 22 and is “stable”.