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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 835-839

Cataract surgery in mobile eye surgical unit: Safe and viable alternative

1 Sankara Nethralaya Medical Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Healthcare Technology Innovation Center, A Joint Initiative of IIT Madras and Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajesh Pioneer Sangameswaran
Sangameswaran, Sankara Nethralaya Medical Research Foundation, No. 18, College Road, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.195599

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Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility and safety of a mobile eye surgical unit (MESU) in providing quality cataract surgery for the indigent rural population with poor access to quality eye care. Materials and Methods: Two buses connected by a vestibule were built to meet the requirements for a self-sufficient operation theater (OT). In every camp, safe transportation of units, good alignment of buses, safe water, and maintenance of sterile environment were achieved with optimal utilization of OT. Results: Two thousand and twenty-one patients in 21 remote locations underwent cataract surgery in MESU between 2012 and 2015. Visual outcome was 6/9 or better in 79.3%, posterior capsular rupture in 0.91%, zonulardialysis in 0.3%, aphakia in 0.2%, iridodialysis in 0.2%, and there was no incidence of endophthalmitis. Conclusion: MESU is a safe alternative in combating preventable blindness due to cataract in far-off villages and tribal areas by providing quality eye care at the patient's doorstep. This model has a great potential for duplication in other parts of India.

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