2-month-old baby suffers burns as ECG machine nodes melt due to short-circuit in Mumbai hospital
A two-month-old baby, being treated at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital for a severe heart condition, suffered 22% burns to the right side of his face and body on Wednesday, after the nodes of an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine caught fire owing to a short-circuit in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the paediatric ward.
The baby, Prince Pannelal Rajbhar, who was brought to Mumbai from Varanasi as he had a hole in his heart, is currently on ventilator support at the hospital.
While the hospital dean, Dr Hemant Deshmukh, said it was an accident and the staff cannot be held responsible for it, the BMC , which manages the hospital, said it will conduct an inquiry into the matter.
The Bhoiwada police have registered a complaint regarding the incident.
Rajbhar was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for a life-saving surgery. The ECG machine was attached to him for continuous monitoring of his heartbeat. Around 2.15am on Wednesday, a short-circuit in the ECG machine caused the nodes to melt, burning the right side of the child’s body, including his face.
“Parents aren’t allowed to stay in the ICU at night. So, we were sleeping outside when at midnight, the nurses woke us up and took us inside and we saw the burn marks. He was already serious owing to his heart condition and now, his condition has deteriorated further,” said Pannelal, 26, Rajbhar’s father, a driver in Delhi.
Pannelal’s relative, Satiram, a tailor from Wadala, who had convinced him to bring the child to KEM Hospital for treatment, said, “I didn’t know that instead of curing him, he would be pushed to the edge of death. I am feeling so guilty now.”
However, the hospital stated that it was an accident.
“The ECG nodes caught fire and melted. It is an accident and the hospital can’t be hold responsible. But we would still hold an internal inquiry into it,” said Deshmukh.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s health department said it will conduct an inquiry into the case.
“As per the preliminary inquiry, the nodes caught fire, which led to the burning. So, we are going to hold an inquiry into the mechanical and electrical departments to find the cause of the fire,” said Dr Ashwini Joshi, additional municipal commissioner, health, BMC.