Two-year-old with 60 per cent burns discharged after rare recovery

In a rare case of total recovery, a 2-year-old baby boy who was 60 per cent burnt is saved successfully by doctors at a city hospital. The boy has now been discharged after 45 days of recovery with minor scars of plastic surgery which doctors believe would fade away as he grows.

Aman Seth (name changed) accidentally dragged the hot water vessel over himself on October 12. When this incident happened at Aman’s home, his parents immediately brought him to Noble hospital. Under a critical condition, he was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). He had a severe burn totalling 60 per cent of his body area.

Of the total 60 per cent burns, doctors said that Aman was suffering from a 20 per cent third-degree burn. The third-degree burn is a severe burn that often leads to the destruction of the entire skin. This burn goes to the innermost layer of the skin making the burn site look white. The child also faced severe water loss as most of the skin barrier was lost. This led to low blood pressure and reduced blood supply to major organs of the body. However, within the first few hours of admission into the PICU, the child was stabilised.

Explaining the treatment process, Dr Abhishek Ghosh, a cosmetic surgeon from Noble hospital said, “In this, initially we cleaned the skin by removing foreign debris, infection, and other residual material. Collagen dressing which helps wound healing was done. For the third-degree burns, we performed tangential excision of the burnt skin followed by the skin grafting procedure. It is a surgical procedure that involves removing skin from one area of the body and transplanting it to any other area of the body. Once the patient was stable, we shifted the patient from PICU to the general ward.”

Treating the young boy with a 20 per cent third-degree burns was a challenging task for doctors. Dr Shreegopal Bhandari, a paediatrician from Noble Hospital, said, “Around 60 per cent burns for small kids becomes an intense injury because the body surface area of kids is less when compared with adults. In the cases where a child is suffering from 60 per cent burn, the mortality is also very high. According to medical journals, the mortality rate in a child below five years, where there is a major component of third-degree burns is as high as 60 per cent. Keeping the infections away was a challenging task as a large area of the skin was lost and the skin is the major protective barrier against infection. These cases are very challenging from the anaesthesia point of view too and need highly skilled anaesthetics. We ensured that dressing is done properly and the child does not catch any infection.”

After satisfactory wound healing, the child was discharged. Doctors mentioned that he would be able to live a normal life now. “We are happy that our child is completely recovered. When the accident happened, seeing the condition of our child we had lost all our hopes. But doctors counselled us and ensured that the child would recover. We followed all the instructions given by the doctors and we are so happy that our child is back to normal routine now,” said his parents.

Dr Minakshi Nalbale- Bhosale, paediatric surgeon from Sassoon Hospital said, “Managing a young child with third-degree burns is a challenging task. Proper ICU care, optimal fluid resuscitation and infection control are critical in managing such cases, which are often associated with high morbidity and or mortality. Primary prevention of such injuries by parental education is the need of the hour. Children should always be kept away from sources of fire or hot water.”

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