On November 6, two-month-old Prince Rajbhar, who was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit (ICU) at KEM, suffered burns after a fire broke out there around midnight. The baby, who was admitted to the hospital two days ago suffered 22 percent burns. Referring to the fire as an 'accident', Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, dean of KEM hospital said that the hospital staff was able to douse the fire within minutes using blankets.
Baby Prince suffered burns on his arm, shoulder, and scalp. Prince's father Pannelal Rajbhar said they were sleeping outside the ICU when the fire started. He also mentioned that his son has a hole in his heart and they brought him to Mumbai for his treatment.
A day after the child suffered 22 percent burns on his arm, shoulder, and scalp, the KEM hospital management said they would treat the child free of cost. The hospital, however, did not offer any compensation to his parents, who brought their child to Mumbai from Varanasi for their son's treatment. After the incident, Prince's father alleged that the hospital staff informed the parents about the burn only an hour later.
On November 8, the leader of Opposition Ravi Raja demanded compensation for the family and a third-party inquiry into the incident. He also wrote a letter addressing BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi, demanding compensation for the child's family. He met Ashwini Joshi, additional municipal commissioner, health. In his letter, Raja alleged that the incident was KEM Hospital's fault and the family must be compensated.
A few days later after Prince suffered 22 percent burns, his arm was amputated. On November 11, 2019, plastic surgeons operated on Prince and amputated his left arm. Doctors from the plastic surgery department of KEM hospital said they gave Prince the same treatment that is given to all burn patients but the condition of the arm didn't improve.
Post the amputation of his son's arms, Prince's father said, "We have been cooperating with the hospital. But now he has lost his arm and his life has changed forever. He will have special needs and I will have to work harder to be able to afford it. The hospital should take some responsibility for the incident and offer some financial help."
After losing his arm, Prince was in a stable condition but he was still on the ventilator. According to Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, dean of KEM hospital, the child received blood transfusions and also underwent mid-arm amputation. Deshmukh further said that the boy is on basic ventilator settings and there was no bleeding from the wound. He also asserted that the Prince is conscious and moving
While corporators across parties demanded to sack the dean of KEM hospital, the BMC in its response said that the fire in baby Prince Rajbhar’s ventilator was an accident and that there was no negligence on part of the KEM Hospital where the child is being treated. The BMC administration also cited the lack of a policy on compensation to which Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, in turn, said that he would take a call on a policy in a group leaders' meeting
When the parents and local corporators put forth their view of the child being compensated, the BMC administration refused to compensate the two-month-old baby who lost his arm in the KEM hospital fire. Meanwhile, on November 13, Prince's father filed an FIR against the employees responsible for maintenance of electrical equipment in the hospital ward at Bhoiwada police station. The FIR has is filed under IPC section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others)
A few days later, the BMC agreed to offer Rs 5 lakh as compensation to Prince's father Pannelal Rajbhar. However, he rejected the offer and along with BJP MLA Tamil Selvan met BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi and demanded a higher sum. Amidst all of this, the boy continued to remain on the ventilator
In photo: Baby Prince's father and mother along with BJP MLA Tamil Selvan put forth their demand before BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi at the BMC headquarters located in Fort
On November 20, it was decided that each of the families of Baby Prince and Rajesh Maru would be given Rs 10 lakh compensation. The group leaders' meeting also decided to form a comprehensive policy for compensating victims of civic negligence or those affected by accidents on BMC-run premises. While baby Prince had suffered in the KEM fire, Rajesh Maru died after he entered the MRI room at Nair Hospital with an oxygen cylinder and got sucked into the machine
On November 22, KEM hospital doctors informed that Baby Prince's chest infection was growing and he had become very unstable. They also informed that they have been administering antibiotics to control the infection. There was also a growing concern among his doctors that there would be fewer chances of Prince's survival, as long as the baby remains on life support.
Dr. Mukesh Agarwal, head of the pediatric department of KEM hospital said, "The child cannot be kept on ventilator forever. When we tried reducing the ventilator support, his condition deteriorated. We are giving him medicines to treat his low blood pressure and antibiotics for the chest infection. We will continue monitoring him."
On November 22, baby Prince, who suffered severe burns in the KEM fire, died of a cardiac arrest at around 2.45am. A civic official said, "Prince was put on maximum ventilator support and his condition deteriorated on Thursday night. He suffered a cardiac arrest at 2.45 am and could not be revived," reported news agency ANI.
Baby Prince Rajbhar who had suffered 22 percent burns after a fire broke out in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of KEM Hospital earlier this month, died of a cardiac arrest on Friday. The two-and-a-half-month-old baby boy who had come to Mumbai for treatment suffered burns, fought pneumonia and his arm was also amputated after he was injured in the fire. Here's how the case unfolded:
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