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Vaccine needle found lodged in body of 22-day-old baby

Friday, July 20, 2018
By Prachi Sonawane

The 2 cm needle was embedded in the capsule of the left hip joint

A 3-day-old baby boy from Chembur was taken to a nursing home in Panvel for vaccination after his birth on June 7. After 19 days, it was noted that the baby had fever and swelling in the right thigh. The family then approached a local pediatrician who suggested investigations (x rays and ultrasound) which concluded there was osteomyelitis (bone infection) of the right hip joint. The baby was then admitted to the Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital on June 29.

As the treatment for osteomyelitis was started on the baby for (bone infection), doctors found a foreign body in the left buttock region through an x-ray. It was first considered as an artifact, but the foreign body shadow persisted on subsequent x-rays so a CT scan was done. It was then concluded that the foreign body was part of a needle used to give vaccinations. The operation to remove the foreign body took place on July 10.

“We have no clue how the needle had come there in the first place. Doctors from Wadia Hospital did the surgery and removed it from his left hip joint,” said the baby's father Sudhakar Pashte.

Dr Pradnya Bendre, Pediatric Surgeon at Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital said, “We treated the baby for infection of bone called osteomyelitis. But later, a CT scan revealed the presence of the needle in the left buttock. When we asked the parents, they said the baby had received intra-muscular vaccine injections at a local nursing home in Panvel when he was 3 days old.”

“The broken vaccine needle was inside his body for 19 days. He was lucky that it has not harmed him and he could not express his pain. After discussing with his parents, it was decided to remove the needle. The baby was taken up for intra-operative surgery for removal of the foreign body. It was difficult to find the exact location, hence multiple x-rays were done to find the position of the needle. It took two hours to remove the needle under C-arm guidance localisations. The 2 cm needle was found embedded in the capsule of the left hip joint and the baby has recovered without any complications,” Dr Pradnya added.

“We thank Wadia Hospital's team as they saved my son's life. Their diagnosis was accurate and the immediate action taken makes them the best,” the baby's father added.

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