In a shocking case of alleged medical negligence, a needle was left inside a three-day-old baby boy’s body post vaccination at a Mumbai nursing home.

The parents took their newborn baby to a local nursing home at Panvel for vaccination. 19 days later it was found that a needle was stuck in the buttocks region.

The interesting thing is that the parents got to know about this after an X-ray at another hospital. Although they suspected it to be the negligence on part of the doctors, they do not want to get entangled in a medico-legal case.

The baby had fever and there was swelling too in the right thigh on June 10, the same day when he was vaccinated.

Sudhakar Pashte, the baby's father, approached a local paediatrician, who suggested investigation (X-ray and ultrasound) which concluded osteomyelitis of the right hip joint for which they admitted the baby to Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital, Parel.

While the doctors started treatment for osteomyelitis, they were surprised to find a foreign body in the left buttock region, on the X-ray. It was first considered as an artefact but the foreign body shadow persisted on subsequent X-rays. Hence a CT scan was done. It was then concluded that the foreign body was a 2 cm needle that is used to give vaccination.

On July 7, doctors from Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital successfully conducted a surgery and removed the needle from the left hip joint.

Dr Pradnya Bendre, paediatric surgeon, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital, Parel, said, “We treated the baby with infection of bone called osteomyelitis. But later a CT scan revealed the presence of a needle in the left buttock. When we asked the parents, they said the baby had received intramuscular vaccine injections on the third day after his birth, at a local nursing home somewhere in Panvel.”

Dr Bendre added, “For 19 days, broken vaccine needle was inside the body. The boy was lucky that it has not harmed him or maybe the baby could not express his pain. After discussing with parents, it was decided to remove the needle. It took two hours to remove the needle. The 2 cm needle was found embedded in the capsule of the left hip joint and the baby has recovered uneventfully without any complications.”

Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospitals, said, “If parents had neglected, it would have resulted in paralysis. The parents are poor and maybe they do not want to get involved in any medico-legal case."