The doctors of a private hospital in Delhi gave a fresh lease of life to a two-year-old child Nimmi (name changed) after she fell on a sharpened pencil that punctured her windpipe and caused a leak.
In a rare twist, the doctors of Aakash Hospital Dwarka treated the child without the use of any surgical equipment due to her tender age and instead, healed the injury with rest.
According to the doctors, about four hours after the incident and primary care at another hospital, Nimmi started to swell as the air she breathed in was leaking due to the tear.
“Unless the leak was plugged and repaired, she might have lived for another 2-3 hours as her heart and lungs were at risk of obstructive shock, for the accumulated air reduced the space for lungs to expand and chest to rise, which is necessary for breathing,” said the doctor.
Dr. Sameer Punia, Consultant, Paediatric Intensive Care & Paediatrics, Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka, said, “She came to us with a swollen face, neck, chest, abdomen, and eyes due to which, she was not able to open them. Ideally, such cases need surgical repair wherein we open the chest, go to the lung, and stitch the site of injury or use glue to connect the ruptured pipe.”
“However, using glue carried the risk of re-leak or complete windpipe adhesion. The child was also too young for open-chest surgery. We avoided it and used bronchoscopy to locate the site of injury without affecting it and kept the site non-functional for 3 days to allow natural healing. The stay would have been prolonged for more than 7 days in case of surgery,” added Dr. Punia.
“She was put on a ventilator and after 3 days, when we checked the status of the injury with a bronchoscope, we found it to be healed. This is because while any injury in an adult will take 5 – 7 days to heal, in young children, lung tissues can heal themselves in 48 hours,” informed Dr Syed Hasan, Head, Department of Paediatrics & Neonatology, Aakash Healthcare.
She was discharged 5 days after admission and immediately resumed her normal life, added Dr. Hasan.