1631 hit by pel­lets in face, 1100 have eye in­juries

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

SRI­NA­GAR—Over 1631 civil­ians have been hit in face with pel­lets by In­dian armed forces dur­ing the 115 days of up­ris­ing, with 1,100 of them hav­ing in­juries in eyes, a trauma that has cost them their vi­sion, par­tially or fully, records con­sol­i­dated from Sri­na­gar hos­pi­tals said.

Hun­dreds of pel­let-hit peo­ple are still wait­ing for vi­sion cor­rec­tive surg­eries in hope of un­do­ing the dam­age caused by pel­lets per­fo­rat­ing their eyes.

SMHS Hos­pi­tal and SKIMS Med­i­cal Col­lege Hos­pi­tal Bem­ina, Sri­na­gar, re­vealed that at least 1500 have been hit by pel­lets in and around eyes. Of these, 1100 peo­ple have had pel­let in­juries right in their eyes, dam­ag­ing their vis­ual ar­eas and re­sult­ing in vis­ual im­pair­ment of vary­ing de­gree.

As per records at SMHS Hos­pi­tal, 970 peo­ple with pel­let in­juries in eyes had been re­ceived. Of these, 44 peo­ple had in­juries in both eyes. In ad­di­tion, 524 peo­ple with pel­let in­juries around eyes have also been treated dur­ing the same pe­riod at this Gen­eral Spe­cialty Hos­pi­tal. At SKIMS Med­i­cal Col­lege Hos­pi­tal Sri­na­gar, 131 peo­ple with in­juries in eyes have been ad­mit­ted dur­ing the same pe­riod. All of these, doc­tors said, had grave in­juries caus­ing loss of vi­sion. The hos­pi­tal has also ad­mit­ted seven peo­ple whose both eyes had been hit by pel­lets. Be­sides, a few pel­let in­jured peo­ple have also been taken out­side the ter­ri­tory, doc­tors at the two hos­pi­tals said. “A hand­ful of pel­let in­jured pre­ferred to travel out­side the ter­ri­tory for treat­ment,” a doc­tor at SMHS Hos­pi­tal said.

Even though at SMHS Hos­pi­tal 513 peo­ple have had vit­rec­tomies, a pro­ce­dure for re­mov­ing vit­re­ous hu­mor (clear fluid fill­ing the eye­ball), hun­dreds are in line for the surgery. Doc­tors said that al­most all of the in­jured whose eyes have been per­fo­rated by pel­lets need vit­rec­tomies in a bid to sal­vage their vi­sion but due to the huge num­ber of peo­ple in­jured by pel­lets, at least 300 more are in wait­ing for the surgery.

SMSH hos­pi­tal is the only hos­pi­tal in Kash­mir where this op­er­a­tion is be­ing con­ducted and other hos­pi­tals are not equipped with the ma­chin­ery to carry out this com­pli­cated eye surgery. Some of the in­jured, as per doc­tors, have to un­dergo mul­ti­ple vit­rec­tomies and other ad­vanced eye surg­eries.

Data re­veals that 51 peo­ple have had bi­lat­eral eye in­juries due to pel­lets. Of these, 24 have lost one eye to­tally im­ply­ing that it has ei­ther evis­cer­ated at the time of in­jury or had to be taken out sur­gi­cally. Six peo­ple have had to­tal loss of vi­sion, im­ply­ing that their eyes do not even have per­cep­tion of light.—KMS

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