January 15, 2010
Health Sciences Campus, Kochi
Nayanamritham 2010, a national symposium on Ocular Infections, Infection Control, Theatre Asepsis and Consumer Protection, was organized by the Amrita School of Medicine on January 9 and 10, 2010.
Nearly 500 delegates attended the proceedings. These represented eye hospitals from across the country, both large and small. Smaller stand-alone eye hospitals do not have ready access to the infection control infrastructure of bigger hospitals, and these were especially represented in large numbers.
“I am delighted that Amrita has taken this important initiative,” stated Dr. Lalit Verma, Secretary General of the All India Ophthalmological Society, the largest association of eye surgeons in India. “I invite them to conduct such similar symposiums in other parts of the country as well.”
Two years ago, Amrita had conducted state-level symposia on this topic, as a result of which every eye-hospital in Kerala had become conversant with infection control procedures. Infection control is important to all hospitals, more so to eye hospitals. There are cases where several patients, who were operated upon, one after the other, lost their vision, due to non-adherence to stringent infection control processes.
As such, the main aim of the symposium was to highlight the latest trends in clinical practice and evidence-based infection control practices in ophthalmology. In addition, there was a screening of videos specially made by the Department of Infection Control for this symposium, on Amrita’s infection control practices, that have resulted in infection rates that are among the lowest in the world.
Day 1 had scientific programs centered on eye infections, both non-surgical as well as surgical. Talks on corneal infections were followed by talks on deep ocular infections and retinal infections. Talks were delivered by experts from hospitals such as Apollo, Sankara Netralaya, Hinduja Hospital, Chaitanya Eye Hospital in addition to faculty members and practicing ophthalmologists from Amrita.
Day 2 was devoted to modern trends in infection control and theatre asepsis. Topics such as operation theatre design and ventilation, theatre and instrument sterilization were discussed in detail. Universal precautions and hand hygiene, needle stick injuries and body fluids, medical and OPD asepsis including surface disinfection, chemical sterilization, etc. were also discussed.
Infectious endophthalmitis is among the most serious complications of cataract surgery, and a round table discussion attempted to evolve a consensus on ways to prevent, recognize and manage this disease. A session on consumer protection “Did I Do Something Wrong?” dissected the role of doctors as well as patients in the context of five actual court cases where the physician had been pronounced guilty.
“This was the first time in the past ten years that such a symposium has been conducted in India,” proudly stated Amrita’s Dr. Gopal Pillai, the Symposium’s Organizing Secretary. “We received so many emails from participants thanking us for taking the initiative.” Amrita thanks all participants as well as the Kerala Society of Ophthalmic Surgeons that joined hands with the Amrita Departments of Ophthalmology and Infection Control to conduct the symposium.