Doctors save 11-year-old girl who got strangulated while playing in a saree hammock

Children tend to play with everything around them and they often fail to read the danger in their enthusiasm. Many time accidents can occur, if the caregivers are not vigilant while young children are at play. Common household items such as ropes, cords, saree hammocks can pose a threat to a child’s life if not monitored.
Some parents use the traditional saree cradle that is suspended from the ceiling to put their infants to sleep. This seemingly innocuous practice can sometimes become dangerous for the unsupervised sleeping infant due to suffocation. Additionally, there is also a risk to older siblings who tend to swing or play with the suspended saree, as it poses a serious risk of strangulation.
Columbia Asia Hospitals has witnessed such cases where kids are rushed to the emergency room who have accidently been strangulated while playing with the saree cradle. A few months back doctors at Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield treated a 9-year-old girl who got strangulated in the saree hammock while playing with her sister and recently doctors at Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur have saved a 11-year-old girl who fell unconscious after getting strangulated.
Nandini (name changed), a 11-year-old girl the eldest of three siblings was playing with a saree hammock which was used for her younger brother as a cradle. While she was swinging vigorously, the saree got twisted around her neck and she got accidentally strangulated soon becoming unconscious. By the time this came to her parents’ attention the child was not breathing. The father a humble cab driver, had the presence of mind to immediately give rescue breaths. When he observed some movements in her, he rushed her to the local hospital where she was immediately intubated and ventilated. However, despite treatment efforts for over 8 hours, the child’s condition was critical with low blood pressure and poor consciousness. The child was then referred to Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur.
The child came to ER in an unresponsive state. Due to the strangulation incident the child’s Oxygen to the brain was critically low which resulted in a swollen brain and high pressure inside that was responsible for her poor consciousness. Doctors immediately attended and initiated resuscitation including gradually reducing the brain pressure and maintaining adequate blood pressure and other organ functions. She was continued support on the ventilator.
Dr. Supraja Chandrasekar, Consultant, Paediatric Intensivist, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, who treated Nandini said, “When the child was brought to the hospital, the child had features of high intracranial pressure and low blood pressure. The child was immediately resuscitated using fluids, inotropes and neuroprotection. She was admitted in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and her vital parameters were monitored continuously. She was given medications to calm the brain and prevent fits. Her blood pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels were critically monitored and maintained in normal range. Within 2 days the child showed dramatic recovery was off all organ supports. A day later, she was ready to go home. Timely intervention and airway management is very crucial for intact neurological recovery”.
Some parents use saree hammocks as an easy make shift cradle for their infants. However, it can be dangerous both for the infant and older siblings who use it for play, as they may not realize the hazard when the saree gets wrapped around their neck. Awareness about hazards caused by saree hammocks needs to be widespread. It is advised to avoid using suspended saree hammocks at home as cradle or swings. Also, keeping kids away from similar objects like curtains, blinds, cords, polythene covers can avoid asphyxia accidents. Keep an eye on younger kids when they are around such objects. Talk to older children
“We are happy and thankful that our daughter is safe. We were unaware of the dangers posed by using this cradle. We are going to be more careful with our children and also educate them about being safe. I am very grateful to the doctors and staff at Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur for saving the life of our daughter.” said Nandini’s Father.
Dr Gurudutt AV, Consultant – Paediatric Intensivists at Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur said “The well-equipped PICU facilities and the competent & committed team helped in the recovery of Nandini. The timely referral to a higher centre with advanced PICU monitoring helped Nandini have complete neurological recovery despite the serious injury”.
In conditions like these with a serious injury or illness advanced intensive care in a tertiary multispecialty hospital can make all the difference. The technology and innovative treatment methods employed along with the expertise and experience in handling such situations by the team can help in best outcomes.
After the treatment, the child has recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.

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