NEWS

Clinic patient has eye removed

One of the 13 people who suffered complications after undergoing operations for cataracts at a private clinic had one of his eyes removed yesterday, as authorities suspended one of the four doctors who conducted the surgery. Doctors at the AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki, where all 13 patients are now being treated, said that the elderly man’s eye was removed due to fears that the infection would spread. There is still concern that other patients could be blinded as a result of the illness they contracted. «All of the patients, apart from one, can sense light and that allows us to be optimistic,» said AHEPA’s director Giorgos Vergoulas. «We are observing them closely and in the next few days we will be in a position to tell if they are in danger of losing their vision.» The 13 originally underwent surgery at a private clinic in Serres, northern Greece, on June 22 and 23 but complained of complications soon afterward. They were diagnosed as having contracted endophthalmitis, an inflammation of the internal tissues of the eye. All the patients were taken to the AHEPA where they were operated on for a second time. A team of seven health inspectors have visited the private clinic to conduct tests with the aim of determining the source of the infection. The Health Ministry has ordered the clinic to stop treating patients pending the results of the investigation. So far, authorities have been able to establish that four doctors conducted the operations and that one of them was employed at a public hospital, the Ippocrateio in Thessaloniki. The doctor has been suspended from duty and faces the possibility of losing his job when he faces a disciplinary panel.