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Use of bicycle pump in tubectomy: OHRC seeks report from Odisha Health dept, Angul CDMO

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 2:

Taking suo moto cognizance of the report published in leading Odia daily Sambad, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has sought a status report from the CDMO Angul and a response from the principal secretary, Health and Family department on the use of a bicycle pump to inflate the abdomen of 56 women during laparoscopic sterilisation surgeries at the Community Health Centre in Banarpal in Angul  district within four weeks.

A bicycle pump being used in ta ubectomy camp in Banarpal in Angul district
A bicycle pump being used in ta ubectomy camp in Banarpal in Angul district

In its notice to the government, the OHRC has cited two reasons for taking suo moto cognizance of the news report. First, it states that laparoscopy operation in the camp without adequate facility is a serious health risk to women.

Second, the use of cycle pump in order to distend the stomach of the patient with atmospheric air instead of carbon dioxide may lead to numerous health hazards such as surgical emphysema and even IVC which may be fatal, the notice stated.

The state rights body has called for a report from the CDMO Angul on why a cycle pump was used for the mass operation in place of carbon dioxide, whether there was any mechanism to measure the intra-abdominal pressure, whether there was any means to ascertain whether the air used for distension of the stomach was free from bacteria, whether the CHC was equipped with necessary support system in order to handle any emergency and whether the doctors (names and other relevant information be furnished) who performed the operation had necessary experience and exposure to perform such operations.

It may be noted here that in shocking violation of essential safety norms, a bicycle pump was used to pump air into the abdomen of women undergoing tubectomy operation at Banarpal CHC in Angul district on Friday.    The surgeon Dr Mahesh Prasad Rout had defended the procedure saying that the use of such pumps is commonplace.

Dr Rout had said “I am not alone. Surgeons often use bicycle pump in the rural camps where the facility of an operation theatre and other sophisticated equipment are not available.”

Rout said he has performed more than 60,000 such surgeries in a decade and had received awards from the government, but never come across any complaints.

The state government has already taken a serious note of the matter and ordered a probe while the Union Health ministry has sought a report from the state government on it.

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