Though the girl underwent immediate surgery to repair a big 7cm laceration, her condition remained critical as she was put on ventilator for around four days.
She was fortunate to survive the hollow viscus injury (stomach perforation) as doctor didn’t let her go home after giving medicines for routine abdominal pain.
Paediatric surgeon Dr Deepak Goel, who treated her at KIMS-Kingsway Hospitals, said that only 10% children suffer blunt trauma injuries in abdomen among all types of accidents involving them. “Of this, just 1% kids suffer hollow viscus injury,” he said.
The girl had eaten chowmein at a birthday party where she was taken by her parents. Soon, the family went for another birthday party where the girl ate sweet corn in excess amount. Later, she fell on the stairs while playing with children. After the fall, she started complaining of unbearable pain in her abdomen.
Initially, her parents assumed it to be a case of pain due to overeating and gave her an antacid syrup to manage the condition.
“Parents need to be very careful when their children end up overeating. They must closely monitor their physical activity whenever such a situation arises. Unsupervised overeating and unsupervised playing after that could be dangerous,” said Dr Goel.
Dr Goel said the girl was brought to the hospital around an hour of the fall. “There was no relief from medicine given by parents, both of whom are doctors. We too tried by giving an injection. But she continued to complain about intense pain. Later, the mother informed me that the girl had suffered a fall. We did an X-ray but found nothing,” he said.
The girls’ father wasn’t convinced that it could be anything serious after the X-ray and wanted to take her home. “I insisted on a CT scan. I told the father that the girl was not throwing any tantrum as her heart rate was high beside the pain. We detected the laceration (deep cut) through CT scan and performed laparotomy at 1.30am and completed it by 5am,” he said.
Dr Goel said the girl took very sick and was put on high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) ventilation for four to five days. The girl has normal weight in proportion with her age and height.
“Had such a patient been from a remote place like Betul or Chhindwara, s/he may not have reached the hospital on time or got appropriate treatment. Once hydrochloric acid is released into the peritoneal cavity (space containing liver, stomach and intestines bound by a thin membrane) outside the abdomen, it can cause severe infection resulting in death,” he said.
Dr Goel and his team used 30 saline bottles to clean the abdomen. Paediatricians Dr Kuldeep Sukdeve and Dr Rajkumar Kiratkar managed post-operativee care. Surgeon Dr Prakash Jain assisted Dr Goel. Anaesthetists Dr Chandrashekran Cham and Dr Kalyani Surkar were part of the team.