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A free ophthalmic surgery campaign in Brazil leads to numerous infections and enucleations


Nearly 75% of patients suffered eye infections following the event.

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/ink drop)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/ink drop)

A free ophthalmic surgery campaign held on September 4 in Amapá, Brazil has led to numerous patients suffering eye infections, or worse.

At the Mais Visão program in Macapá, 141 people total were attended to, with 104 of them (nearly 75% of patients) reporting postoperative complications. The event lasted a total of 4 days, until the Public Prosecutor's Office of Amapá requested the suspension of the services after the emergence of complaints.1

Of the 104 cases of eye infections reported after the event, 7 severe cases resulted in the removal of the eyeball after contracting endophthalmitis. Fifty-five underwent further surgery to reverse the infection – and another 14 received a corneal transplant.2

The Ministry of Health confirmed they suffered from an acute eyeball infection caused by a fungus called Fusarium.

Antônio Ferreira, 82, was 1 of the 7, and had to have his right eye removed. Ferreira already suffered from low vision in his left eye due to cataracts.1

The third-party company Saúde Link, responsible for the procedures in the program, stated that they worked "thousand days alongside a serious team of doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals so that more than 100,000 people could undergo surgery and regain their sight … There were more than a thousand days of successful operations."

“We are working in the agent space in three areas, together with surveillance and with Anvisa, to find out what happened, whether it was a problem with the product, whether it was a problem in the environment, whether it was a problem with the procedure used,” said Weber Penafort, MP/AP health promoter.

  1. Patients Go Blind After Cataract Surgery Campaign in Amapá. https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/scienceandhealth/2023/11/patients-go-blind-after-cataract-surgery-campaign-in-amapa.shtml
  2. Fungal infection leaves patient blind after cataract surgery in Amapá | National newspaper. https://newsbeezer.com/brazileng/fungal-infection-leaves-patient-blind-after-cataract-surgery-in-amapa-national-newspaper/
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