Bombay Hospital is inquiring into an incident in its paediatric department, where a six-month-old suffered burns on her cheek and shoulder last week while she being administered steam to open up her lungs. Ishani Rathod was being treated at the hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) after a choking incident at her Vikhroli home.
Steam inhalation is administered to remove phlegm in the lungs that allows a patient to breathe easily. Ishani was brought to the hospital on March 25, admitted in the PICU and put on ventilator. Two days later, doctors removed the ventilator support and started her on nebulisation and steam therapy. On the evening of March 28, she sustained the burns while being given steam therapy.
Ishani’s father, Jitesh , alleged that the hospital staff initially did not inform the parents about the burns. “It was only when we spotted blisters on her cheek and shoulder and questioned them they admitted that my child got burnt. Initially, they tried to pacify me by saying that she suffered burns because she has a sensitive skin but all children have sensitive skin,” Rathod told Hindustan Times.
Rathod said that the team of doctors apologised to the family for the “mistake” which has put the child in additional pain. “She was already suffering and the burns only made it worse,” said the child’s grandmother, Leela Rathod. Ishani, doctors said, has suffered damage to the brain that has affected her mobility and eyesight.
Mukesh Sanklecha, the doctor who is treating Ishani, said her survival after the incident at home was miraculous. “Our team did everything to save the life of the child. She is stable and has been shifted to the general ward. She developed blisters following the steam therapy and there would not be any repercussion on the outcome of her treatment,” said Dr Sanklecha, adding that the child is undergoing physiotherapy at the hospital.
Hospital spokesperson Dr Sagar Sakle said, “The child was brought to the hospital with zero heart rate. She has sustained superficial burns and we have treated her for that. We will investigate into the incident and our nursing department is looking into it as steam therapy is given by the nurses.”