New Delhi: In a rarely performed surgery, doctors at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital successfully reconstructed the food pipe of an eight-year-old boy who accidentally drank acid about a year ago. The class 2 students Sameer Mohammad on his return from school had consumed acid from a bottle that was kept on top of the refrigerator, presuming it as water. He was first admitted to GB Pant Hospitals and later referred to government-run RML Hospital.
Within a few seconds, Sameer had felt severe burning sensation in his mouth before he started vomiting blood. According to the surgeons who performed the surgery said this is the first such case that they had encountered. An associate professor of paediatrics surgery department, Dr Pinaki Ranjan Debnath told Mail Today “The patient was unable to take in any kind of diet, even liquid, for his survival. Not even saliva. He had not eaten anything for the last one year and turned very malnourished. So, at first we started feeding through jejunostomy to give him nutrition. We fixed a small tube to his stomach and food was supplied directly and surgical procedures could be done thereafter. From 12 kg, the child then weighed 25 kg within six months.”
Jejunostomy is a process to provide temporary nutrition to a patient. “In the second phase, we constructed a tube by taking a small portion of his stomach. We operated him and placed the tube at his ruptured oesophagus. It was a long-drawn seven-hour surgery performed by a group of six specialist doctors,” said Dr Debnath, adding that with the passage of time, the stomach will start functioning normally. The procedure is known as “reversed gastric tube for oesophagus replacement” for children.
Doctors told that the cost of such a procedure will cost from 15 to 20 lakh at a private hospital, but RML Medical care is completely free. Remembering the bad day, when he had consumed the acid, Sameer said “It was a bad day for me. I don’t even want to remember it. When I drank that liquid, I had a stinging burning sensation inside my body. I am just waiting for doctors to allow me to eat and I want to start with chocolates. I haven’t eaten anything for the past one year.”
Sameer’s mother in deep regret has vowed not to buy acid for cleaning bathrooms. “Acid accident cases are an industrial problem because of increasing use of acid in cleansers. People should keep it away from children. There should be a danger label on the product and sale of loose acid in bottles should be completely banned,” said Debnath, adding that the patient could have died as there’s a 100 percent risk of fatality in such cases.