10-year-old Kalyan boy dies a month after stray dog bit him

Feb 27, 2016, 13:55 IST | Faisal Tandel

Faizan Javed Shaikh was given four injections after the incident, but they weren't anti-rabies shots; five hospitals turned him away when his health worsened

A 10-year-old boy from Kalyan who suffered a dog bite a month ago in Bhiwandi, was declared dead last morning at JJ Hospital. While his family alleges that his death was caused because they did not get proper anti-rabies shots from any of the hospitals they visited, JJ Hospital says that by the time the boy was brought to them, it was already too late.

Faizan was bitten by a stray dog last month while he was on his way to a local mosque
Faizan was bitten by a stray dog last month while he was on his way to a local mosque

The deceased, Faizan Javed Shaikh, a Std III student from a private school in Bhiwandi, resided in Kontari with his father Javed, a driver, his mother Rubina and brother Fardeen (12). The family had moved to Bhiwandi two months ago.

The incident
On January 22, Faizan and his brother Fardeen were heading for afternoon prayer at a local mosque. “Fardeen, my elder son, claims there were four to five stray dogs on the road. A small boy hit a stone at the strays; one of the dogs was near Faizan and bit him on his right hand. Fardeen, who was shocked by the incident, rescued him with the help of the locals and brought him home. When we saw the injury, it was a deep bite,” said Javed.

Faizan’s family then took him to a local hospital in Kalyan and later to Rukmanibai Hospital, a civic hospital in Kalyan. “According to the medical reports, Faizan was given the first injection in Rukmani on January 22, then on January 25 and 29, a fourth injection in the first week of February and was supposed to get a fifth on February 18. We are not aware which injection was given to him, as JJ Hospital claims that he was not provided with any anti-rabies injection. JJ doctors say that had he been provided with the injections, the poison would not have spread in his body,” said Sameer Shaikh, Faizan’s uncle.

On February 18, he was to get the fifth injection, but Faizan suddenly started shivering and was feverish. His parents then moved him to Meera Hospital in Kalyan. Jakir Mirza (60), Faizan’s grandfather said, “We first took him to Meera Hospital, where they asked us to move him to Kasturba Hospital. When we reached Kasturba, we were shocked with the response of the doctors. We had only just told them about dog bite, when they asked us shift him to Nair Hospital.”

He added, “Later, we reached Nair Hospital with a lot of hopes, but there too we had to return without treatment. The doctors at Nair told us that the patient should be admitted in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and they don’t have a vacant ICU room, as six of their ICU wards are full. They suggested that we go to JJ Hospital.” He claimed that he had also suffered a dog bite some 41 years ago, but he received treatment.

Put on ventilator
After being moved to JJ Hospital, Faizan was kept in the general ward for two days. “On February 18, he was kept in the general ward for two days. Later, since February 20, he was on ventilator. The doctors from JJ Hospital did a check-up, extracted fluid from his spine and sent it to Bangalore for testing. We paid around R15,000 for this. After the report was received, they said the rabies had spread in Faizan’s body and there was no cure for it. In 90 per cent cases, rabies patients don’t survive. On Friday morning, around 5:30 am, we were informed that he was no more,” Mirza said, adding that they went from door to door at different hospitals, but still had to take their dead grandson’s body back home.

Mirza said that the report given by the doctors from JJ Hospital after his grandson’s death, (mid-day has a copy) states ‘terminal cardio respiratory arrest due to septic shock in case at meningoencephalitis due to rabies’ as the cause of death.

Faizan’s parents refused a post-mortem and he was buried at a cemetery in Kalyan last evening.

Rabies suspected
Dr Nitin Bavadekar, Medical Superintendent of JJ Hospital said the boy was a suspected rabies case and was turned away by the other hospitals due to the same reason. “The patient was bitten a month ago and according to the history, he did not receive the vaccination shots after the bite. His condition was critical and he was suffering from hydrophobia and his immunoglobulin was low,” said Bavadekar. While the report given by JJ Hospital confirmed that the death did take place due to ‘terminal cardio-respiratory arrest due to septic shock in a case of meningoencephalitis due to rabies,’ when asked if the doctors had clear evidence of rabies causing Faizan’s death, he said he will have to check the papers again. “Rabies death is rare since the victims get vaccination shots after the bite. The patient was bitten more than a month ago and did not get the vaccination, which could have caused the issue,” he added.

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