Save The Doctors

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There was a recent hypothesis made based on an extensive study of a case of 45 patients who underwent cataract surgery. The article "An Outbreak of forty five cases of Psuedomonas aeruginosa acute endophthalmitis after phacoemulsification" is published on the National Center For Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Post-surgery, there was an observation period where patients exhibited adverse reactions. The cause was clearly identified - ‘Pseudomonas aeruginosa’, a very common pathogen associated with infections acquired in most healthcare facilities.

The use of viscoelastic gels is very much important in cataract surgeries in order to maintain and preserve space, displace, stabilize, coat and protect eye tissues before inserting an artificial lens. These gels reduce the probability of toxins in the procedures, and reduce the risk of leaks and/or tear. 

Previous cases of epidemics have all been seemingly caused due to contaminated ‘intraocular irrigating solutions’  - which are sterile cleansing solutions used to maintain the natural condition of the eye during cataract surgeries. It is evidently the culprit in the case of our ongoing issue, since these solutions are provided to hospitals, and doctors administer them during surgical procedures. 

Clearly a case of defective manufacture and negligent sourcing of the same to their clients, the blame here lies on the procedure of manufacturing and its consequence and NOT on the doctors. While the members of “Karnataka Rakshana Vedike” are parading the doctors as criminals, there is another interesting fact that has come to light.

This incident and the outbreak of infection and related problems, all occurred in the month of July. However, the KRV members only took to the streets and instigated protests, barging into Minto hospital and obstructing the operational activities of doctors, only from November 1st. Where were they for the entire duration of 3 months? And the outrageous fact that they are basing their protests on is that the PG student did not speak Kannada. 

REALLY? What was the issue and what did the KRV protest about and who took the blame? All evidently disconnected to each other. These social outfit members even campaigned to start the protest from November 1st, the day of Karnataka Rajyotsava, by putting up posters everywhere to the days leading up to November 1st. And then, the protests started and it was not even on the main issue - the defective manufacture of Intraocular Irrigating Solutions and their contamination - but instead, on the alleged fact that the doctor who HAPPENED to be present on the day of the protests, did not wish to speak to them; which they foolishly assumed to the doctor not knowing Kannada. 

It is amazing to see how the group mentality sustains a collective thought and these so called activists pursue their own agenda in the name of social protests. They are backed by followers who are influenced by factors like getting limelight, personal gratification, money and more. 

How rightful is this, when doctors are blamed, assaulted and harassed to no end for no fault of their own? Why is the medical fraternity stereotyped to the extent that the media today does not even help with the proper investigation of the real issue and instead simply adds traction to rumors and violence? Targeting people because of not being fluent in Kannada is one of the cheapest forms of discrimination, one which outfits like KRV keep using incessantly. 

It is high time that we learn to respect the service of doctors who are an integral part of the society and who constantly help in bettering the lives around them. And it is of utmost importance that we need to take a stand for the rights of those who are innocent and make their voices heard; to get justice for everyone.