Sightless after eye op

2008-03-15 00:00

A woman who had eye surgery at Grey’s Hospital now finds herself totally blind for two months because essential supplies ran out halfway through her operation.

According to Dr Enslin Uys, an eye specialist and vitreo-retinal surgeon who does work in the hospital’s Retinal Unit, the hospital failed to tell him that stocks of silicon oil had run out. The oil is inserted into the eyeball to keep the retina flat for three months after surgery. Apparently, supplies that were ordered in January had not arrived.

Uys was forced instead to insert gas into his patient’s only functional eye, which, unlike the silicon oil, causes temporary blindness for eight weeks until the gas is fully absorbed. The patient has no sight at all in her other eye.

Uys said this not only means the patient will not be able to see for at least eight weeks, but also that he cannot do follow-up or laser treatment on the eye, a procedure he said is much needed in this case.

“My frustration as a surgeon is the fact that I can only do two operations for retinal surgery in a week: that is eight people a month. I have a long list of people on the waiting list and every Tuesday new patients are added on to that list. If we keep running out of essential retinal products, that list gets longer.”

He said that many of the patients are poor people who cannot afford medical care but are desperate for help, and as a doctor he is trying to help, but due to the lack of funds or poor management, he cannot do sufficient work.

The silicon oil has since been replaced. Department spokesman Leon Mbangwa said the hospital had “experienced a procurement challenge”.

“The product was delivered to the hospital … It is business as usual,” he said.

However, Uys said the issue of the hospital running out of consumable goods is a recurring problem and the explanation often given for the shortages, is that it is the end of a financial year.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.