Indian dye importer takes blame for post-surgery infection cases

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The distributor and importer of an Indian dye used in eye surgeries after which patients suffered critical infections in southern Vietnam will incur all patients' treatment costs, a doctor said on Wednesday.


Trypan Blue, produced by Khosla Company, has been found to contain Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a toxic bacterium, via tests carried out by the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute, the Hospital of Tropical Diseases and the health ministry's drug testing centers, said Tran Thi Phuong Thu, director of HCMC Ophthalmology Hospital.


Imported by Viet My Medical Technical Equipment Company, the dye, which identifies live cells during surgery, was used in cataract operations at the hospital after which 22 patients were reported to have critical eye infections early this month.


So far, 13 of them have recovered and been released, another five are still recovering, while others are yet to see anything with their operated eyes, according to Thu.


The hospital is responsible for providing patients with the best treatment to help them recover, she added.


Last week the Department of Health Equipment and Works under the Ministry of Health asked Viet My to withdraw the product after cases of infection were reported in the southern hub, the central highlands of Lam Dong, and the southern provinces of Dong Nai and An Giang.


Viet My Company said it had imported 350 vials of Trypan Blue, 232 of which had been distributed to health clinics.

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