Two doctors face trial in botched cataract surgeries

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Two eye surgeons face criminal prosecution over botched cataract operations performed on eight patients; one died, the others suffering serious post-surgery complications resulting in loss of sight.

According to police sources, the two doctors, based at Nicosia’s Apollonion hospital, have been charged with medical negligence following instructions of the legal services.

Attorney-General George Savvides decided to file a case against two doctors at the Apollonion private hospital over eight botched eye surgeries resulting in physical damage.

Savvides tweeted the police were instructed to submit criminal cases against two people in connection to the case without giving more details of their identity or the charges.

The decision follows a probe carried on for more than a year. It involved eight patients, aged 60 to 80, who had suffered serious eye infections after undergoing eye surgery in October 2020 at the Apollonion.

Authorities looked into whether the infections were due to deficient measures, negligence or an external factor that could not have been predicted in the operating room.

All eight patients were infected by a drug-resistant strain of bacteria, causing them to lose their sight in the affected eye.

One of the patients eventually lost his life due to complications that followed.

Five patients had to have one of their eyes removed entirely during corrective procedures to prevent the infection from spreading to the brain.

Initially, they were sent to a private hospital in Limassol, where doctors treated their infection.

Due to the seriousness of their condition, they were transferred to state hospitals in the capital.

Biopsies showed all patients had pseudomonas endophthalmitis infection, a multi-resistant bacteria that lives in the back of the eye and damages the nerve tissue.

All the patients had undergone a cataract surgery at the Apollonion around 20 October 2020.

An operation to address problems caused by cataracts to the eye are believed to be safe as doctors say that, on average, the risk of infection for such operations is 1 in 1,000.

Initially, in their report, Cyprus Police suggested that the hospital be prosecuted; however, the Legal Service has not issued such instructions.

When the case emerged, the Apollonion said it had followed all prescribed procedures, including the suspension of the operating theatre and a related facility and carried out all the appropriate checks and probes.