Baby Prince succumbs after 16-day fight


Post-mortem reveals three-month-old died due to septicaemic shock following deep to superficial thermal burns

After battling for life for 16 days, three-month-old Prince Rajbhar, who was severely injured in the fire at KEM Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), succumbed on Friday. Doctors said he went into cardiac arrest at 2.30 a.m. and attempts to revive him failed. He was declared dead 15 minutes later. The last rites will be performed in the city on Saturday.

The incident has raised questions on the upkeep of public hospitals. Health activists have sought to know how a sensitive area like the PICU can have no fire safety. “We came to Mumbai for better treatment, and our child is now dead,” said the baby’s father, Pannalal Rajbhar. His wife Sandhya was in a state of shock.

The post-mortem has revealed that Prince had died due to septicaemic shock following deep to superficial thermal burns. The doctors have preserved the viscera for chemical analysis. The post-mortem was conducted by three senior doctors, Dr. B Chikhalkar from J.J. Hospital, Dr. Shailesh Mohite from Nair Hospital and Dr. Rajesh Dere from Sion Hospital, and it was recorded on camera. “The father gave a letter with such a demand. Therefore, we called forensic doctors from other hospitals,” said Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, dean of KEM Hospital.

Baby Prince succumbs after 16-day fight

Born with a heart defect, Prince was admitted to KEM Hospital on November 5. On November 7, when an ECG cable attached to a multi-parameter monitor caught fire, he suffered from burns on his left arm, shoulder and scalp. Doctors had to amputate his arm to prevent infection. Mr. Rajbhar said there was a severe delay in responding to the fire. “The ward was filled with smoke when we saw the commotion in the ward. It should at least be half an hour after the fire that the staff had responded,” he said.

The civic authorities, however, claimed that four resident doctors and four nurses were in the ward and they responded within minutes.

The baby’s uncle, Satiram Rajbhar, said the family planned to perform the last rites in Mumbai and not take the body to Uttar Pradesh. He said, “What has happened with us is unfair. Just imagine the kind of suffering the child went through in a hospital where he was admitted to get better.” The authorities should nail the exact cause of the fire and punish the guilty, he said.

The Bhoiwada police added Section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) to the FIR. The police has, however, not named anyone in the FIR so far or called anyone from the manufacturing company for investigations. “Only a departmental inquiry is being conducted by the dean,” said senior police inspector Vinod Kamble.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 6:29:10 PM |

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