A surgeon who led a team of three in removing 13 pins lodged in the buttocks of a 10-month-old baby, has lifted the lid on what it took to save the toddler.
Mwea Macharia, a general surgeon at Thika Level Five Hospital, Wednesday recounted how he and two other doctors carried out the five-hour surgery.
Dr Macharia told The Standard they first learnt of the toddler's condition from a paediatrician who had recommended further examination.
A doctor who was treating the baby for pneumonia noticed the presence of some sharp objects in her buttocks and notified the paediatrician who in turn called Macharia.
The doctor who was treating the infant for pneumonia noted she was experiencing a lot of pain and would cry a lot whenever she tried to sit down, which made him become more curious.
After closer examination, the doctor noticed the sharp objects and called for more examination to ascertain what the objects were.
Upon receiving the report from the paediatrician, and after the baby was healed from pneumonia, excessive vomiting and diarrhoea, an X-ray was done which revealed the minor had 14 sharp needles lodged in her buttocks.
He said nine needles were lodged deep in the muscles of the buttocks, two in the anus while one at the lumber area and another one which is yet to be removed was at the pelvis.
The surgeon said they used an image intensifier, an advanced form of X-ray technology, to remove the needles.
He said they at first attempted to remove the last one which remained but realised it would end up causing injury to the baby’s private parts.
“After the surgery, the child has been able to recover well. Her wounds have healed and she is even playing,” said Macharia.
He allayed fears that the remaining needle may end up causing more harm.
“There is no reason to worry since not all foreign objects in the body can be removed as long as they are not causing infections or injuring the patients’ nerves or tissues,” he said.
The surgeon said they concluded that the baby had penetrating assault injuries caused by the needles whose sharp edge was deep inside the infant’s buttock muscles.
He said there were no visible scars or a mark, indicating that whoever inserted the needles had done it weeks or months before the baby was taken to hospital.
The eight-centimetre-long needles were all black in colour.
The doctor said they may have changed colour after some chemical reaction since ordinarily needles are normally made of stainless steel.