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After 14 years of losing eyesight due to a botched-up surgery, a woman will be compensated with Rs. 15 lakh from a Delhi-based doctor couple.

The patient Savita Khanna had consulted Dr Laxmi Pal and Dr R S Pal at Aditya Eye Care and Opticals Pvt Ltd on 2 February 2004 for a cataract operation. The victim had gone through implantation of an intra-ocular lens on the same day, according to reports.

However, Khanna suffered heavy bleeding from the operated area, alleging that the doctors did not follow the necessary procedure before conducting the surgery. In the same year on March 1, a second surgery was performed with no improvement to her eyesight.

She sought the opinion of other senior ophthalmologists where she learnt about the negligence of the doctor couple. Her condition was not recoverable as the retina was detached and even a stone-eye could not be placed. Khanna, 43, on losing complete vision claimed Rs. 28 lakh as compensation.

The doctor couple had a different story to tell. They said all necessary steps were taken before the operation but the patient did not turn up for the follow-up session next day. They even went to her house to see her and found that the surgery was successful.

The doctors said that the woman came to the clinic on February 26, complaining about high blood pressure, high fever and intraocular haemorrhage with the expulsion of the lens and ocular contents.

On investigating, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission investigation found the operating doctor had no records that suggested if the patient was checked for blood pressure or blood sugar before the cataract surgery. "Dr. R S Pal has failed to explain the coming out of the ocular contents from the eye. It is a clear case of 'medical negligence'," said the redressal commission.

"Dr R S Pal failed to place on record his educational certificates showing his competence to conduct eye surgery. They also failed to disclose if the surgery was done in the charitable institution or in the regular clinic," observed the judicial member N P Kaushik.