An Indian-produced dye used in eye surgeries, from which 22 patients have suffered critical infections, has been found to be contaminated by a toxic bacterium, Vietnamese health authorities said.
In a report to Ministry of Health and the Ho Chi Minh City government Thursday, the city's Department of Health said tests have found Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a toxic bacterium, in batch SV 9025 of Trypan Blue produced by Khosla Company.
The dye was sent to HCMC Ophthalmology Hospital on May 13 and used in Phacomemulsification a kind of cataract surgery to help doctors determine live cells during surgery.
Later, 22 patients were found to have an eye infection caused by Pseudomonas, a genus that includes Pseudomonas aeruginosa, according to Lam Kim Phung, vice director of the hospital.
They underwent the cataract surgeries at the hospital between May 17-25, she said.
Phung said because the bacteria is highly toxic and resistant to most available antibiotics, only seven of the patients have recovered so far, while others' chances of recovering their vision aren't guaranteed at the moment.
In case the patients, mainly the elderly, lose their vision, the hospital will return surgery fees, and await related agencies' decisions for compensation, the vice director said.
Once it is known that Khosla's contaminated dye was responsible, the hospital will hold the manufacturer responsible for paying compensation fees to the patients, according to Phung.
In the meantime, the HCMC Department of Health has asked local hospitals with eye surgeries to suspend the dye, while awaiting orders from the Ministry of Health.