WB Hospital Halts Cataract Surgeries After Complications: A Call for Vigilance in Medical Procedures

In a concerning development, a government-run hospital in Kolkata’s Metiabruz has temporarily halted all cataract surgeries following complications reported by more than 25 patients. This incident highlights the critical need for stringent safety protocols and thorough investigations to ensure patient safety in medical procedures.

The Incident

Last Friday (28th June 2024) and Saturday (29th June 2024), during a special eye camp organized by the hospital, approximately 35 individuals underwent cataract surgery. Unfortunately, over 25 of these patients soon developed severe complications, including blurry vision, redness, and eye pain. These alarming symptoms prompted the immediate re-admission of the affected patients to the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO) for urgent care and treatment.

Immediate Response

The state health department has responded promptly by launching an investigation to determine the root cause of the complications. An official from the hospital, speaking to PTI, mentioned, “The reason behind the infection is yet not clear. We have stopped cataract surgery for the time being.” All surgical instruments used in the procedures are currently being tested to identify any potential sources of contamination.

Patient Experience

Families of the affected patients expressed their distress upon learning of the complications. One youth, who had taken his mother back to the hospital for re-examination, noted the presence of multiple patients experiencing similar issues. Despite receiving the necessary treatments, many patients reported an inability to see clearly post-surgery, raising further concerns about the procedures’ efficacy and safety.

Investigation Focus

Health officials are investigating several potential sources of contamination:

  • Operating Theatre: Ensuring the sterility and cleanliness of the surgical environment.
  • Surgical Equipment: Testing instruments for any signs of contamination or malfunction.
  • Medications: Review the drugs administered to patients before, during, and after surgery to rule out any adverse reactions or contaminants.

Ensuring Patient Safety

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining rigorous standards in medical procedures. To prevent similar occurrences in the future, hospitals and healthcare providers must:

  • Adhere to Strict Sterilization Protocols: Regularly inspect and sterilize all surgical instruments and environments.
  • Implement Robust Quality Control Measures: Continuously monitor and evaluate all aspects of surgical procedures.
  • Enhance Training and Awareness: Ensure that all medical staff are well-trained in the latest safety protocols and are aware of the importance of maintaining a sterile environment.
  • Foster Open Communication: Encourage patients and their families to report any post-operative complications immediately, ensuring timely intervention and care.


The temporary halt of cataract surgeries at the Metiabruz hospital underscores the need for vigilance and stringent safety measures in medical practices. As the investigation unfolds, all healthcare providers must learn from this incident and implement robust protocols to safeguard patient health. By prioritizing patient safety and adhering to rigorous standards, we can ensure that such unfortunate events are minimized, providing better and safer healthcare for all.

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