A newborn baby who was scheduled to undergo surgery for a heart condition died after a bracket fan at a Larkana hospital fell on him on Wednesday night.
The day-old baby was one of the two boys born to 30-year-old Ajeeban Shar, wife of Zamir Shar, on Tuesday. The family hailed from Mahi Shar village near Dakhan in Shikarpur district.
One of the babies was suffering from ectopia cordis – a condition in which the heart is abnormally located outside the chest. He was rushed to the Children’s Hospital of Chandka Medical College Hospital, Larkana, and was admitted to the paediatric surgery ward. A team of specialists and surgeons had examined the baby and had decided to operate on him on Thursday morning.
Early on Thursday, a bracket fan attached to the wall by the bed fell on the new born boy and crushed him to death. The head of paediatrics surgery, Dr Sikandar Ali Mughal, told The Express Tribune that they had completed all preparations for the surgery when the unfortunate accident took place. “Chances of survival in such a surgery are very low but it is unfortunate that the boy died in such an accident,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chandka hospital’s medical superintendent Professor Dr Saifullah Abbasi said he was unaware of the incident. “I am in Karachi for a meeting and will be available for comments when I return to Larkana,” he said.
The officials in the hospital felt the negligence resulted from a shortage of funds and medical practitioners that the facility has been facing. “Though the children’s hospital has been moved to a newly constructed building, we are still facing an acute shortage of doctors and paramedics,” said an office bearer of the paramedical staff union. A large number of people from upper Sindh and the adjoining areas of Balochistan bring their children for treatment and most of them are compelled to take their children to private hospitals due to a lack of facilities, he explained. “We need more doctors and paramedical staff especially nurses to provide good quality service to the patient,” he added.
Soon after the baby was born, the family rushed them to Larkana for treatment. Prof Dr Mughal, the head of the department of paeds surgery at Benazir Bhutto Medical University and Chandka Medical College, examined the case and formed a medical board comprising all the surgeons. The medical board had decided to conduct the boy’s surgery on Thursday.
According to Dr Mughal, there are very rare chances of survival in cases of ectopia cordis. Dr Mughal recalled that only one boy is known to have survived this condition but he also died at the age of 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2014.