The teenage boy, who suffered serious burns due to electrocution while flying kite on Tuesday, is in a critical condition at the private burns centre in Navi Mumbai where he is being treated.
Doctors treating 13-year-old Mukesh Patel said the severe burns were draining essential fluids from the body which had put a huge strain on the kidneys.
“The draining away of vital fluids can eventually lead to kidney damage. The patient can also slip into hypovolemic shock due to the loss of liquids,” said Dr Murlidhar Patraj, resident medical officer at the National Burns Centre, Airoli.
Hypovolemic shock is the most common kind of shock caused by reduced intake of fluids that leads to decreased removal of metabolic wastes, lower blood flow causing reduced delivery of oxygen, nutrients and electrolytes. This requires immediate restoration of fluid levels which is being done intravenously. The boy is also being administered a high protein diet of mashed egg and banana through a nasal gastric tube.
The doctors assessed that the boy had suffered up to 95% burns. He was taken to Rajawadi hospital immediately after the incident in the morning, but his parents decided to move him to the burns centre as the hospital is not adequately equipped to treat the case. He was shifted at about 4pm.
Dr Patraj informed that his urine output had gone down considerably to about 10-20 ml an hour (as compared with the average 40-50 ml/hr). “If the kidney function deteriorates, the fluids being injected could lead to swelling in the body,” he said.
Already the accumulation of liquids had caused swelling in the facial area and this could worsen in the next 48 hours, with accumulation of liquid in the lungs, leading to difficulty in breathing.
Vinod Patel, the boy’s uncle, said the family decided to shift him from Rajawadi for better care.
“The national burns centre has a dedicated ICU for treating burns patients, whereas the ward at Rajawadi does not even have air-conditioning, let alone sterile conditions.”
A doctor at Rajawadi said the boy was being treated in the male surgical ward. “The burns appeared to be a combination of electrocution and an explosion of fire. The family sought discharge against medical advice and shifted him to a private hospital as they were dissatisfied with the facilities here.”
It seems that Rajawadi does not have a separate unit to treat burns cases and Mukesh was put in a room where his bed was isolated with a makeshift partition. It is crucial that such cases are treated in a sterile set-up, otherwise they could easily catch infection. The boy’s parents Manjula (41) and Suresh (42) got to know about the accident only after he was taken to Rajawadi hospital at about 10am.