UAE | General

Man goes blind after spinal surgery

Sharjah resident seeks justice after losing right eye vision in devastating complication

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 21:46 November 7, 2012
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: XPRESS/Sharmila Dhal
  • HELPLESS: Mohammad Jan is urging action against the Sharjah hospital.

Dubai: A 54-year-old Pakistani man says he went blind in his right eye following spinal surgery at a private hospital in Sharjah.

Desperately seeking “justice”, Mohammad Jan, a Sharjah resident, said he was suffering from excruciating back pain last year and the hospital’s doctors recommended spinal surgery.

“I underwent the operation in June 2011 but when I was rolled out of the operation theatre, my sons noticed that my right eye was swollen. They immediately alerted the doctor but were assured that everything would be fine,” said Jan. “When I regained consciousness, I was shocked as I could not see from my right eye.”

Confirmation report

He claimed the hospital diagnosed him with central retinal occlusion in the right eye - a condition where patients typically present with sudden, severe and painless loss of vision.

Visual loss after spine surgery is a rare (1 in 1,000) but devastating complication. It occurs when the optic nerve located behind the eyeball is injured. It can happen to healthy patients at any age, according to researchers. Visual deficits vary from blurred vision to blindness.

Jan claimed that a month later, the hospital asked him to consult other doctors to treat his eye. “They simply refused to take responsibility,” he alleged.

Desperate, Jan complained to the Ministry of Health in August 2011. “It has been over a year now and my file is still with the ministry. I appeal to the authorities to please look into it so that due investigation is conducted and action initiated.”

Irreversible loss

He said doctors he had consulted in his home country Pakistan told him that there was no chance that his vision could be restored.

A technician by profession, he said he fears for his job. “I cannot drive or do the work I used to earlier. My back still hurts and I am managing with one eye.

“I have seven children to support. If not my vision, the hospital should at least compensate me for the irreversible damage.”

The hospital said the two doctors who Jan claims treated him do not work with them.

Queries sent to the Ministry of Health did not elicit an immediate response.

Comments (11)

Your comments
  1. Added 13:24 November 8, 2012

    Hospitals are doing business here in UAE, making money from insurance. doesn't matter what happened with patient..... we expats are relying on our home country doctor's when going on vacation or specially for treatment but I wondered about UAE residents how they are surviving.....???

    Ayaz Ahmed, Sharjah, Pakistan

  2. Added 12:30 November 8, 2012

    YOU CAN JUST VISIT LV PRASAD EYE INSTITUTE IT IS IN HYDERABAD - INDIA. THEY TAKE CARE OF ALL SERIOUS EYE PROBLEM.

    LAVINA SALDANHA, SHARJAH, India

  3. Added 12:02 November 8, 2012

    Private hospitals and clinics pounce on an opportunity to operate on a patient even if it is not required for the money. It is sad. Neither do we have a system in place where a common man can get justice having his file in MOH for now a year. There should be laws in place to account for these money-making clinics and hospitals who care less for the patient's wellbeing and just for making money.

    hamid S, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 11:27 November 8, 2012

    Exactly the same happened to my wife. She is under the treatment with one of the Rheumatologist in Dubai. Last year due to overdosage my wife got infection on her face and left eye. I showed her to the Eye specialist in Dubai and he confirmed that the infection caused was due to the dosage she is using for Arthritis. He immediately stopped the medication of the Rheumatologist and started his treatment even though he called the Rheumatologist and discussed with her about the medication. Luckily my wife did not lose total vision in her eye but still the vision is affected and now she can't see properly from her left eye. Now from last one year my wife is under the treatment with both Doctors (Rheumatologist and Eye specialist). We did not complain to anyone. However the left eye of my wife has less vision and I am not sure if we need to complaint about this or not. What if my wife had the lost her entire vision? And also from last one year we are traveling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai for the eye specialist because of that.

    Faheem, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:26 November 8, 2012

    Ministry of Health should take action against hospital......this is bad.....

    Asif, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 10:32 November 8, 2012

    U will wonder if u go deep analysing the performace of hospitals in UAE. Hospitals here are just for money-making.

    Arun, AUH, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 08:50 November 8, 2012

    When a Pakistani guy killed a doctor in Al Ahlia hospital it might have been a same motive Why do we forget that doctors here are not competetive enough to successfully operate people. Look at this poor guy who has to support a large family now he has been left blinded with one eye Can anyone bring back what he lost due to some unprofessional doctors ? Doctos should be recruited based on their medical capability not only the way they can use tools, such incidents shake you off when you htink about going to hospital for any sort of treatement. My request to general public to be careful and the authorities to notice and recruit such doctors who has a profeesinal background and has a track record of operating people. If they want ot experiement on some one it should be animals not humans.

    Mark, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 08:44 November 8, 2012

    This situation is common here. I personally myself complained so many times about doctors in private hospitals in Abu Dhabi but no response. Anyway we can only pray for improvement.

    Salman Khan, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan

  9. Added 07:21 November 8, 2012

    I personally feel justice should be done, seeing the present scene, the Ministry should take action. Of course, mistakes happen, but then 1 year or more, the case is still pending and as far as i know UAE Government will never let injustice happen to the poor. I pray for him and his family.

    Rajesh, Dubai, India

  10. Added 04:20 November 8, 2012

    Irresponsible and erratic news article from the reporter ., she should have done some homework on CRVO/CRAO before publishing such reports.

    abhilash, dubai, United Arab Emirates

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