Wel of niet inenten, ziekenhuizen en medische vragen
#56539 door André
27 mei 2006, 16:51
Eye surgery hopes dashed Patients suffer complications after Cuba
published: Saturday | May 27, 2006

Yahneake Sterling, Staff Reporter


George Foster, one of 14 patients from a sample of 60, who reportedly had serious complications after receiving eye surgery in Cuba under an arrangement with that country, shows one of the many boxes of eyedrops prescribed to him since his surgery. Since the programme started in August last year, 1,854 persons have travelled to Cuba for eye surgery.

LESS THAN a year after the 'Miracle Operation' programme, which allows Jamaicans with serious eye problems to visit Cuba free of charge to receive treatment from that nation's top ophthalmologists, several patients are now suffering from serious complications.

According to Dr. Albert Lue, head of the ophthalmology department at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), several patients who have received eye surgery in Cuba are experiencing poor visual activity.

"The main complication that is causing this problem is the cornea," Dr. Lue said. "The front of the eye gets very cloudy and this is usually because of poor surgical techniques."

He said that in a survey of 60 patients who recently returned to Jamaica, three persons are now visually impaired, while 14 are suffering serious corneal damage.

George Foster, a 70-year-old participant in the 'Miracle Operation', told The Gleaner that, prior to the surgery to remove his cataract, he was only able to see from his left eye.

"Since I come back, I can see from the right eye but I can't see from the left," the retired mason said.

RISKS INVOLVED

He said that, since his return in February, he has visited the KPH more than six times and there has still been no improvement in his once 'good left eye'. He claimed he was not aware of the risks that were involved in the surgery at the time.

"I was (so) glad to get it dealt with that, even if they had told me of the risks, I would have still gone," he, however, added.

When contacted, Eva Lewis Fuller, director of cooperation at the Ministry of Health, acknowledged that she had been informed of the concerns by local ophthalmologists and that the Health Ministry was investigating the matter.

"We expect that there will be a certain level of complications as there are in surgical interventions," Mrs. Lewis Fuller said. "What we are trying to find out is whether this proportion that Dr. Lue is concerned about, is above the expected level."

POSITIVE FEEDBACK

In response to Mr. Foster's claim, she argued that all patients who entered the programme signed a consent form outlining the risks involved with surgery.

She noted that the Health Ministry has received positive feedback on surgeries administered. Mrs. Lewis Fuller said the number of patients reported with complications amount to less than three per cent of the 1,854 patients who were treated in Cuba. She remarked that the Heath Ministry, along with its Cuban counterparts, will be examining a larger sample of patients to obtain a more accurate assessment of the situation.

Meanwhile, The Gleaner/ Power 106 News Centre was informed that the Scientific Research Council (SRC) has been conducting tests on the medications used by the patients as laboratory technicians are concerned about the components of them.

However, Dr. Audia Barnett, executive director of the SRC, said she was not able to comment on the matter at this time.

bron: jamaica-gleaner

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