It was a regular morning when Asha Matthew, a 35-year-old mother was walking with her 10 month old daughter, Esther, to her grandmother’s house. In a matter of few seconds, the young mother lay face-down on the road and the baby flung a few feet away!
The mother’s handbag had gotten stuck in the handle of motorbike passing by jerking both the mother and baby into oncoming traffic. Having suffered a bad fall herself, the mother was horrified when she witnessed her little girl being run-over by an auto rickshaw.
An accident like this can be quite life-changing for anybody. Surely, it was, even for this 10-month-old baby.
Pedestrians and motorists, who witnessed the accident at Dombivli, helped the mother take her baby to a nearby hospital where baby Esther underwent a full body CT scan. It revealed an isolated chest trauma with accumulation of air and blood around the lungs and blunt trauma to the chest putting the child in terrible pain; the child also couldn’t breathe properly.
Lack of infrastructure and medical expertise led to the child being shifted to Fortis Hospital, Mulund. The child was immediately admitted under the care of Dr Jesal Sheth, Senior Consultant Paediatric and Neonatal Intensivist at the hospital.
The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) team, led by Dr Sheth began treatment on Esther; she was subsequently put on pain control medications and antibiotics.
Speaking about the case, Dr Sheth said, “The child was brought in with traumatic shock and was crying profusely as she was in tremendous pain. We immediately put her on pain medications and supported her breathing by a lung support device to stabilise her breathing. The baby responded well and was kept under observation for a few days. She is now discharged and the parents have been advised to follow-up on treatment”.
“Chest trauma is a very broad term encompassing superficial injuries to life threatening or fatal injuries. Blunt injuries result from vehicular accidents or falls. Rapid emergency management is essential for better outcomes,” said Dr Hiren Doshi, director of Neonatal ICU, Nanavati Hospital.
He added, “This child probably got a blunt injury which caused her ribs to fracture and pierce the underlying lung. The lung being an air filled structure collapsed and the space that was created was filled with air which leaked out of the collapsed lung and blood that resulted due to the injury itself.”
Speaking about the unfortunate incident, Esther’s mother said, “Doctors at the PICU supported us, guiding us through with coping skill mechanisms, counselling and assurance that our baby was taken care of. For this we are eternally grateful”.
Continuing on the nature of such cases and the take home message, Dr Sheth adds, “Such cases are definitely unimaginable in nature and one must be aware of their surroundings at all times. We have seen a couple of unfortunate cases and we urge citizens, both pedestrians and motorists to be careful to avoid such incidents.”