A state in India issued a ban on mass sterilizations on Tuesday, a few days after it was revealed that a surgeon had used a bicycle pump in 56 operations last week.
Women undergoing tubectomies for sterilization are required to have their abdomens inflated, but this is generally done through the introduction of carbon dioxide rather than outside air.
Officials from the East Indian state of Odisha said using a pump for the procedure can be extremely risky, the BBC reports.
Dr. Mahesh Chandra Rout, the surgeon accused of breaking protocol, told the BBC that pumps are routinely used in Odisha during such procedures and that he had never faced “a mishap or complication.”
Tuesday’s ban is another addition to the controversy surrounding India’s mass sterilization drives, which are conducted widely and frequently to curb the country’s rapidly growing population.
Over a dozen women died during a sterilization drive in the state of Chattisgarh last month, a tragedy that was later blamed on substandard drugs.