A day after a PHC nurse at Uchipuli was suspended over gross negligence after a piece of the needle used for suturing got stuck inside a woman’s stomach, another incident was reported from a PHC in Nagapattinam on Friday where a woman who was given an injection for fever, was sent back with a needle in her body.
On September 10, 2019, a newborn in Coimbatore had a broken vaccine needle stuck in his thigh for more than a fortnight which went unnoticed till the baby developed a swelling and it started bleeding. Two months later, in November, a piece of injection needle remained stuck in a man’s buttock in Chennai. On November 21, 2019, a needle broke and was left in the body of a young woman in Uchipuli while one of the nurses was suturing her post-delivery. On November 22, a syringe needle got stuck in a woman’s body after the doctor administered an injection for fever at a PHC in Nagapattinam.
When contacted, medical professionals and manufacturers of syringes say they have never encountered such cases. Dr Ranjith Veeramani Thangavelu, senior assistant surgeon, RGGGH, said, “It is very rare to see a syringe or a needle breaking while administering it on a patient. I have not witnessed it in my practice of more than 10 years.” When asked if the reason could be low quality equipment, a medical equipment manufacturer said, “We get several complaints of syringes being reused and not being disposed of carefully, but none of needles breaking.” He added syringes supplied to the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation were from a reputed firm. When contacted, hospital authorities at the Sirkazhi government hospital said that syringes were procured from the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited and there was no question of poor quality.