The Stephen Johnson Syndrome severely affects the surface of the eye, and is one of the primary after-effects of acute chemical injury to the eye vis-à-vis acid burns, alkali burns or contact with other corrosive substance.

The primary challenge after an acute chemical injury to the eye is in preventing permanent damage. The treatment for such burns is a complicated medical procedure that requires skilled medical professionals and adequate infrastructure.

After a chemical attack, the eye has to be bandaged using human amniotic membranes that are harvested from women who have had Caesarean deliveries, post consent and an HIV test. The thin, curtain like membrane is then placed with high precision and accuracy on the affected eye. The blood loss coupled with the delicate nature of the eye makes this surgery one of the most complicated medical procedures to date.

In collaboration with IIT Kharagpur, The Calcutta Medical Research Institute has developed a machine that precisely and accurately harvests and places the amniotic membrane on the eye. The first phase of tests has seen the machine successfully harvest the membrane, with the test for the membrane placement scheduled to take place later, post clearance from the ethics committee. The patent of the device is pending approval.

In a country where acid attacks are a common misfortune, this machine provides a ray of light in treating the victims better, faster and with more efficiency.

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