Pune : Infant given fluid through burette with spider in it

Jadhav Children’s Hospital and device manufacturer trade charges even as parents of 10-month-old fear the adverse effects that could surface later

Vicky Pathare | Pune Mirror
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PUNE : In a shocking instance of alleged negligence on the part of citybased Jadhav Children’s Hospital, a 10-month-old infant has been administered intravenous (IV) fluid for the last two days through a burette set with a spider inside. When the parents of the child confronted the hospital authorities with the appalling lapse they refused to take responsibility and simply put the blame on the manufacturer. The family of the infant is now living in fear of what ill-effects the IV fluid would have on their child, now or at a later date.

Manaswi Kandalkar, all of 10 months, had fallen ill and was taken to Jadhav Children’s Hospital in Kharadi on Saturday (March 3) by her family for treatment. She was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis and was put on medication by the hospital doctors. It was suggested that she should be put on IV fluid from Saturday itself. The treatment for Manaswi continued and she was administered more than a couple of saline solution bottles. On Sunday night (March 4), however, Manaswi’s father, Ashok Kandalkar, was shocked when he saw an insect inside the burette set through which the IV fluid was passing into her veins. The insect turned out to be a spider.

Pune : Infant given fluid through burette with spider in it
PIC: SACHIN PHULSUNDAR

“I was really disturbed to see that there was a spider inside the burette set through which the IV fluid was entering my daughter’s veins. She had been administered the IV fluid for 22 hours before I happened to spot the insect. It is only after I informed the doctors that they changed the set,” said Khandalkar, a resident of Kharadi.

“There are chances that the insect can be poisonous and the IV fluid can have adverse effects on my daughter. There are even chances that she may develop problems in future,” Khandalkar added. “When I asked the hospital authorities who would take the responsibility in case of an untoward turn of events, the doctors said there is no fault on the part of the hospital and that they cannot do anything about it. It is expected that the hospital should check the equipment before they use it. The hospital authorities are transferring the blame on the manufacturing company.”

He added that he had received a casual response when he approached the manufacturers.

“This is a case of negligence that can effectively lead to loss of life but I don’t know why no one is serious about it. Even when I called the manufacturing company they were also very casual about it. When I approached the Indian Medical Association, they said they cannot help me as they don’t have any official power to take action against the hospital or the company for negligence. I am going to take this further,” he added.

The hospital authorities have shed their responsibility by claiming that the spider was inside the Polyvol burette set that has been sent back to the manufacturing company and that it has no role in it. In a letter to Khandalkar dated March 5, the hospital has accepted that a spider was found inside the Polyvol burette set, which had a batch number 1714884m. The set has been send to the manufacturer for further investigations, it added.

Dr L M Jadhav, consultant paediatrician, neonatologist and head at Jadhav Children’s Hospital, said, “This is the first time that we have come across such an incident in the 14 years of our existence. This is an unfortunate incident and has been highlighted at a meeting of all the staff members. A warning has been issued to follow the medical protocols strictly. The baby is fine now and has not reported any complications and there is little chance of a complication in future. We will keep a routine check on the baby for the next two weeks to see if any adverse effect is reported. We are prepared to treat the baby if any adverse effects are reported.”

The doctor added, “The product was from a standard company and so we never expected to face such a problem. It is unfortunate that the nursing staff did not see that there was a spider in the burette set. We have handed over the set to the manufacturing company they will investigate it and send reports to us.”

Dharmendra Mishra, assistant general manager, Poly Medicure Ltd., the manufacturer of the burette set, said, “The burette set of our company comes in a package and when it is opened it is usually used by a nurse. The set is used with IV fluid and IV set. It is the responsibility of the nursing staff of the hospital to inform us in case of a lapse but this was never done. There spider could have been either in the IV fluid, the IV set or the burette set. It is a major lapse on the part of the hospital and we cannot exactly say that our company is at fault. We have a standardised system and have initiated an internal inquiry into it.”

Dr Lalit Rawal, head of the paediatric department at Ruby Hall Clinic and president of Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Maharashtra, said, “The issue can be serious if the spider in the burette set turns out to be poisonous. If the dirt on the skin of the spider’s body has entered inside the body of the infant along with the IV fluid it can create complications. This can result in infections in the baby. If there is aspider inside a burette set it is expected that it will not be used for a patient. There will be no complications to the baby in the long term but its infections may surface in a couple of

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