CHENNAI: When Dhanyashri (4) opened her eyes in the hospital after a horrible accident, the first thing her father asked her to do was to identity him and her mother. When she called out ‘appa, amma’, C Sridhar’s joy knew no bounds. His daughter was finally on the road to a normal life.
On January 28, Shiva (24), a tailor of Tondiarpet, accidentally fell from the balcony of a third floor house and landed on the girl who was walking down the road along with her grandfather to a departmental store located on the ground floor of the building.
The child suffered severe head injury and multiple fractures. She was rushed to Apollo Hospitals at Tondiarpet and later referred to Apollo Children’s Hospital.“Dhanyashri got treatment within the golden hour. It was one of the factors that helped save her life,” said Suchitra Ranjit, a senior consultant, paediatric ICU, Apollo Hospitals.
“The child’s brain was swollen. The swelling was compressing lower part of the brain squeezing right out of the skull. Because of this, the child had elevated brain pressure (elevated intracranial pressure - ICP). This will damage vital centres that control breathing and blood circulation. If unreversed, it will lead to brain death,” said Indira Jayakumar, senior consultant, paediatric intensive care and emergency services in the hospital.
Decompressive Craniectomy was performed on the child on the third day. Doctors removed parts of the skull bone, thus permitting the swollen brain to expand without the constricting effect on the skull. Now, the swelling of the brain has reduced a bit, doctors said.A part of the skull, preserved at a blood bank, will be fixed after two months, said Suchitra Ranjit.
She said the ICP pressure was monitored with a delicate and precise pressure monitor placed with the brain. Brain pressure between 22 to 30 mmHg in a child is critically high and potentially fatal. Dhanyashri had 10 mmHg on the first day of hospitalisation.On Monday, when doctors announced that the child was recovering and would soon to be discharged, her father Sridhar thanked Health Minister C Vijaya Basker and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, who promised to meet Dhanyashri’s medical expenses.
“A lot of philanthropists, NGOs and netizens came forward to donate money for her treatment. I am overwhelmed by the support of hundreds of people whom I have not even seen. I thank them all. Today, my daughter is not only out of danger, but she is also normal,” said Sridhar.
Getting up after the fall
On January 28, Shiva (24), a tailor by profession fell from the balcony of a third floor house and landed on Dhanyashri (4), who was walking down the road with her grandfather. The child suffered severe injuries and underwent decompressive craniectomy to remove part of the brain to reduce swelling. The part of the removed skull would be fixed after two months