The use of a bicycle pump to conduct laparoscopic tubectomy on 56 women at a sterilisation camp organised by local authorities at Banarpal village, about 150 km from Bhubaneswar, has triggered public outrage in the area.
Although the surgeon defended the procedure saying that the use of such pumps was not new, it angered the local residents. With the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party staging protests, the government has ordered a probe into the incident.
“I am not alone. Surgeons often use bicycle pump in the rural camps where the facility of an operation theatre and other sophisticated equipments are not available,” Dr. Mahesh Prasad Rout told IANS .
Dr. Rout said he had performed more than 60,000 such surgeries in a decade and received awards from the government.
“The doctors should have used an insufflator to pump carbon dioxide gas into the abdomen of women. The equipment has an automatic adjustment of gas pressure and flow performance. It keeps the process safe,” a senior surgeon of a private hospital said.
But Dr. Rout said insufflators were still not available in many hospitals and doctors were under pressure to use pumps as an alternative in camps.
“We sterilise the pipe and nozzle tip of the pump before use,” he said.
Several workers and women activists of the BJP on Saturday staged protests and ransacked the government health centre at Banarpal where the surgeries were performed.
State Health Secretary Arti Ahuja said the government has directed the administrative chief of the concerned district to probe into the incident and submit a report within seven days.
Laparoscopic tubectomy is a surgical procedure conducted on women as a permanent method of contraception.