Teen lost hair and scalp to a grinder in a flour mill

The 18-year-old girl was pouring wheat grains into the machine when her dupatta, which was tied to her head, got entangled in it; not only did her knee-length hair get pulled in, the accident also cost her part of her right ear

Losing all their hair is an unthinkable nightmare for most young girls in their teens. Tragically, a freak accident made this dreaded nightmare a reality for 18-year-old Pramila Chikne last year. The teenager, who was blessed with lustrous black hair that grazed her knees, lost it all in a matter of minutes, along with her scalp. The young girl is now undergoing treatment at a hospital in Navi Mumbai.

While her hair may not come back, Pramila will be undergoing ear reconstruction surgery at DY Patil Hospital in Nerul. She will also undergo eyebrow reconstruction surgery

The accident took place at a flour mill in May last year. As the mill owner was busy on a phone call, he asked her to pour the wheat grains into the mill herself. Recounting the tragic turn of events, Pramila said, “I did not even realise when my dupatta, which was tied to my head, got entangled in the grinder, and soon my hair got pulled in as well. I panicked.

The machine kept pulling every bit of my hair in, and the pain was tremendous. My family members immediately rushed me to a hospital in Wai, but the primary health care provided to me failed to yield any results.” A fortnight ago, her aunt Draupada Navare suggested that she come to the city for better treatment and referred them to DY Patil Hospital in Nerul.

Navare said, “I had been to the village and saw that my niece’s condition was not improving at all. I decided to bring her to Mumbai for better treatment. We have spent close to Rs 3 lakh on her treatment after taking a loan. I don’t mind spending the money that is required, but I want her to recover soon.”

The prognosis
Dr Ananta Kulkarni, a plastic surgeon who is treating her, gave a gloomy prognosis: “The girl has lost her entire scalp. When there is loss of scalp, the patient should be rushed to a microsurgery centre within 6-10 hours, and then there are chances of the scalp being re-attached.

But Pramila hails from a village and, perhaps, her family were not have aware of the immediate need to rush her to a big hospital. So unfortunately, we cannot bring back her hair. When she was brought to me two weeks ago, her scalp wound still existed. Skin grafting was done after a few infections were controlled.”

Kulkarni added, “She even lost a part of her right ear and an ear reconstruction surgery has to be done. We are working towards getting her eyebrows re-constructed, as they have been pulled upwards. This eyebrow re-construction surgery is scheduled to take place in a few days.”

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