Needle-in-eye baby recovers, to be discharged

December 24th, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) The 18-month-old baby who survived after a crochet needle accidentally pierced her eye and brain appeared nonchalant towards the media frenzy around her as she devoured a chocolate bar Wednesday, ready to be discharged.The only tell-tale signs of the incident were a slight swelling above her right eye and suture marks that run across her bald head.

Kumkum was dressed in a new pink frock and socks to match and was all set to be discharged Wednesday, after having recovered from a complex brain surgery.

The incident, doctors said, could have led to her suffering from loss of vision, brain haemorrhage and infections like meningitis.

“The child has recovered well and will be discharged today (Wednesday),” said Deepak Gupta, the neurosurgeon who operated on her.

Kumkum had got hold of the crochet needle at her Okhla home Dec 12. She fell accidentally and the needle pierced her right eye.

She was brought to the AIIMS Trauma Centre within hours with the thick six-inch needle stuck in her eye.

“The needle had narrowly escaped the globe of the eye and fractured the roof of the orbit. It had entered the brain,” Gupta said.

“Any movement of the needle, when it was lodged could have had serious consequences. So we let her parents hold her and comfort her through it all,” said Radhkrishanan Ramchandani, the first doctor to give her emergency treatment.

Ramchandani added: “The first reaction for a child is to pull out what is causing the irritation. Had that been the case the soft orbital roof would have been ripped and there could (have been) grave damage.”

The baby was saved after a team of multi-disciplinary doctors at AIIMS performed surgery that lasted one hour and forty minutes.

The other members of the surgical team included senior residents Shailesh Jain and Pankaj Ailawadi and anaesthesiologist Kapil Dev Soni.

The doctors’ team opined that the child’s case was indeed miraculous.

“All us doctors want to make a request to all parents to not leave their children unattended. Their child may not be as fortunate as Kumkum. Do not leave things like needles or such objects within a child’s reach,” said M.S. Mishra, chief of the trauma centre.

Kumkum’s mother Sunitha cradled her child protectively and admitted that the accident was a lapse on her part.

“Having seen my child suffer, I have learnt a lesson. I will not leave her unattended,” Sunitha said.

The child will now come in for a checkup a month later. She has been put on antibiotics and anti-seizure drugs as a precautionary measure, said doctors.

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