KEM Hospital fire: BMC initiates inquiry, baby battles for life

In treatment: U.P.-born Prince Rajbahar was brought to KEM Hospital in Parel on Tuesday.

In treatment: U.P.-born Prince Rajbahar was brought to KEM Hospital in Parel on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: File photo

Doctors working to ensure there is no infection in infant’s wounds

A day after a three-month-old baby suffered 18% burns after an ECG cord caught fire at KEM Hospital, BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Ashwini Joshi has initiated an inquiry into the matter. The baby, Prince Rajbhar, who was admitted to the hospital for a congenital heart ailment, continues to be in critical condition with burns on his left arm, scalp and shoulder.

“A two-member team, consisting of the director of major civic hospitals and the chief engineer from the mechanical and electrical department, will conduct the inquiry and submit a detailed report to me,” Ms. Joshi told The Hindu, adding that prima facie a short circuit seemed to have caused the fire. “Only a thorough inquiry will reveal the exact turn of events,” she said.

Damage to baby’s fingers

Born on August 15 in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh, Prince began suffering from breathing difficulties soon after birth. “We were taking treatment from a local child specialist, but his heart condition was detected only last week when a super-specialist who was on a visit to U.P. advised us to get a 2D echocardiography test,” the baby’s father, Pannelal Rajbhar, who works in a private firm in Delhi, said.

“We decided to immediately come to Mumbai for better treatment,” he said. Prince was brought to KEM Hospital in Parel on Tuesday and admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit on the ground floor. His condition was critical as he had also developed pneumonia, due to which he was put on ventilator support and his blood pressure, pulse rate, heart rate and oxygenation were being recorded on the multi-para monitor.

The fire occurred around 3 a.m. on Thursday. “The cables from sensors connect the monitor to the patient,” said dean Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, adding that one of the cables — the ECG cable — caught fire, injuring the baby. “We have carried out a procedure which involved removing the burnt tissue to release compression in the arm, but the baby’s fingers have been considerably compromised due to the burns. A team of plastic surgeons has been involved and we are trying our best to prevent infection,” he said.

Year-old equipment

Dr. Deshmukh said the monitor and the cables attached to the baby were a year old. “The equipment was new. We are looking into the reason for the short circuit,” he said, adding that they have taken statements of all the staff.

According to Mr. Rajbhar, the hospital also informed the Bhoiwada police about the incident, and they reached the ward soon after the fire was doused. “The police have taken my statement, but I don’t want to pursue any complaint. I just want my child to be treated properly,” Mr. Rajbhar said. His wife, Sandhya, who has constantly been by the baby’s side, reiterated that she wants her baby to get the best treatment possible.

The hospital has said the parents will not be charged for any tests or treatment.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 12:16:35 PM |

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