news Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 05:30
  Three days ago a post on social media began doing the rounds of alleged negligence on part of Chennai’s Apollo Hospital by leaving behind a syringe needle inside an infant’s thigh. On Tuesday, Apollo Hospital refuted any wrongdoing. On June 7, Vinoth B wrote a letter addressed to the Chairman, Apollo First Med Hospital, Kilpauk alleging that a broken needle had been found in his infant’s body after vaccination at the hospital. He wrote in his complaint that on May 13, a day after the child was born , three vaccinations – BCG, Hepatitis B and OPV had been administered. He said in his letter that a few days later a reddish lump had formed on the child’s upper right thigh. After two visits to different doctors, Vinod said that on June 6,  he found a sharp broken needle protruding out of the baby’s right thigh. "On June 6 morning that is 24 days after vaccination while bathing the baby we had the worst shock of our life when we found a sharp broken needle protruding out on the right thigh where there was a big lump. " Along with the letter he sent a picture of the needle which had been preserved after removal. Demanding strict action against the doctor/nurse responsible, he said in his letter addressed to the hospital that legal action would be initiated against the hospital otherwise. However, Apollo Hospital responded to the complaint stating that though Hepatitis B vaccination had been given to the child, it had been administered on the left thigh and not on the right thigh.  A picture of the needle taken from the infant's body (Image courtesy: Vinoth Kumar Facebook post) Addressing the letter and the picture of the needle, the hospital said that for vaccination purpose only a 1 ml syringe with a 26 gauge 1 cm long needle was used as compared to the one shown by the complainant. It also said that of the three vaccines – the BCG vaccination had been administered over the left middle thigh, a BCG vaccine given over the left arm, and polio vaccination given orally. “We feel that the needle that is displayed in the post is thicker and longer and does not appear to be a needle used for any neonatal injections. We also note that the swelling that the baby had, was on the right side and not the left side which was the vaccination site." However, despite the hospital's response, the post has continued to draw attention with many people advising Vinod to approach the consumer forum over the complaint.