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Mumbai: Three-month-old Prince injured in hospital fire dies

Child suffered septicemic shock, deep thermal burns, says forensic expert

| Mumbai | Published: November 23, 2019 6:40:53 am
Mumbai: Three-month-old Prince injured in hospital fire dies Parents of Prince outside hospital on Friday. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirshekar)

Days after three-month-old Prince Rajbhar lost his hand to amputation following a short circuit in ECG nodes at KEM hospital, he was declared dead late Thursday night. The child’s parents refused to accept his body while accusing the doctors of negligence.

The child had suffered septicemic shock and deep thermal burns, a forensic expert said after a team of doctors from JJ Hospital, Sion Hospital and Nair Hospital conducted the autopsy late Friday. They said blood and tissues of the child have been preserved for histopathology and chemical analysis.

Earlier in the day, the child’s father Pannelal Rajbhar, had written to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi demanding that an autopsy be conducted by doctors of the three hospitals. “A medical committee should be formed under these hospitals for an independent inquiry to verify whether proper treatment was given to him. All the papers of treatment should be submitted before the committee,” Rajbhar said.

He told The Indian Express, “We lost our child. But we don’t want this to happen to any other child. There should be a detailed inquiry and action should be taken against the culprits for negligence.”

According to KEM hospital doctors, Prince was critical and on maximum ventilator support. “His condition had deteriorated at night. At 2.30 am he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest. We tried to revive him, but he expired around 2.45 am,” Hemant Deshmukh, dean of KEM hospital, said.

Prince, who was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit (ICU) of KEM hospital for treatment of congenital heart defect, had suffered burns on his hand, shoulder and scalp on November 7 after the ECG nodes attached to his chest caught fire and spread to the mattress of his bed. Four days later, as the infection spread, his left upper arm was amputated.

Following the incident, the BMC had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh as compensation for the child’s family after they had refused to accept Rs 5 lakh compensation offered earlier. Earlier, director of BMC hospitals, Ramesh Bharmal, said that an inquiry report in the incident had been submitted Sunday.

After the child’s death, BMC standing committee members had once again demanded the suspension of KEM hospital dean even as the civic administration has claimed the incident was an “accident”.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Praveen Darade told the civic body that “primary inquiry report on Prince’s incident has shown that it was an accident. The ECG machine which caught fire was serviced and inspected in September and found in good condition. The inquiry in this matter is on and we are yet to check the ECG machine since it has been seized by police for their investigation”.

Soon after his statement, corporators targeted the administration alleging that they are trying to shield the culprits by calling it an “accident”. Corporators also questioned the inquiry done by Bharmal.

Demanding an inquiry by independent doctors, BJP corporator Prabhakar Shinde said, “If the dean of a BMC hospital will do an inquiry of its own staff then it can be influenced easily, as they know each other.” Opposition leader Ravi Raja also demanded that a third-party conduct an independent inquiry into the incident.

Samajwadi Party leader Rais Shaikh said, “In this whole episode, the BMC did not utter a word about the cause of the death of Prince. Why are they silent on the cause of death?”

Senior Police Inspector Vinod Kamble of Bhoiwada police station said that they have informed the court and upgraded the case to IPC section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) from the previous Section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or person safety of others).

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