Newborn burned in incubator puts heat on Pune hospitals’ equipment
Baby suffered 80-90% burns in incubatorpune Updated: Sep 27, 2017 23:47 IST
Burn injuries and deaths suffered by newborn babies in incubators have once again drawn the attention to the need for technical training among hospital staff while handling sensitive hospital equipment.
The latest incident of critical burn injuries suffered by a newborn baby occurred at Vatsalya Hospital in Budhwar peth on Tuesday morning when a new born baby suffered severe burns in the warmer she was kept in.
The infant was shifted to the burns unit at the Sassoon hospital on Wednesday evening.
While the police said that the incubator malfunctioned, the father of the baby filed a complaint against Dr Gaurav Chopade and his staff stating that they did not handle the equipment well and caused the burns.
At least a dozen babies have died across the country in the last 10 years due to similar burns. Reacting to those incidents, medical experts said close monitoring, good training of the staff and proper maintenance of the equipment was vital to prevent tragedies.
Dr Rajesh Kulkarni, a paediatrician at the Sassoon hospital said there was an incident in Jalna three years ago and there was another one 10 years ago in Nagpur.
“It is not a common incident. There is a computer chip in the incubator and two temperature controls; one is attached to the baby’s skin and the other is in the incubator. The temperature is computer-controlled,” Dr Kulkarni said.
When asked about the maintenance required for the machines, Dr Kulkarni said that the machines in all the ICUs at Sassoon undergo annual maintenance. “We call it preventive maintenance. After all, it is a machine,” he said.
According to him, the latest incident could possibly be an accident.
“These machines should be accredited regularly ,” said Dr Ajay Chandanwale, dean of Byramjee Jeejeebhoy (BJ) medical college attached to Sassoon General Hospital.
Vijendra Vilas Kadam, 35, the father of the baby, is an autorickshaw driver and a resident of Shukrawar Peth. His wife was in the operation theatre after undergoing a caesarean and the baby had been shifted to the box with the warmer in the labour room. Kadam and his family members went in to meet the baby when the room started filling with smoke after a loud noise, according to Kadam.
“When the nurse was pulling the baby out, it suffered burns and so did the nurse. It was an accident and we, as doctors are doing everything we can. The nurse was taken to Sassoon hospital for the burns,” said Dr Shikha Chopade, who runs the hospital with her husband, Dr Gaurav Chopade.
The incident happened around 8:45 am on Tuesday morning and the baby was rushed to the nearest available neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at a private hospital near Laxmi road. The baby was brought on a two-wheeler by Dr Chopade and the baby’s father, according to Dr Shikha Chopade. A case under Section 287 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for negligent conduct with machinery and 338 for causing grievous hurt by act of endangering life or personal safety, was filed at Vishrambaug police station against Dr Chopade and his staff. Police inspector (crime) Amar Marathe of Vishrambaug police station is the investigating officer in the case. Kadam and Dr Chopade were both called to Vishrambaug police station to record their statements.