THANJAVUR: Doctors of the Rajah Mirasudhar Government Hospital here performed surgery to remove mercury accumulated in the large intestine of a 20-day-old baby girl who was admitted to the hospital on August 17 from Mayiladuthurai. She was given a mercury coated betel leaves by her grandmother to cure 'cradle cap'.
"The baby was kept under observation as the mercury administered accumulated in a portion of the large intestine. Finally we decided to perform surgery and remove the mercury. Colostomy, a surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall, was done. During this procedure, one end of the colon is diverted through an incision in the abdominal wall to create a stoma. A stoma is the opening in the skin where a pouch for collecting feces is attached. The baby is on the ventilator now. When she is off the ventilator after normalcy, the large intestine will be pushed back into the stomach," explained Dr Kumudha Lingaraj, dean of Thanjavur Medical college, speaking to DC over phone on Thursday.
It may be recalled that the child of Saravanan (32), a daily wage worker from Kumbakonam and Sumitra (23) of Mayiladuthurai, born on August 16, was administered mercury coated betel leaves for treating cradle cap on the ear lobe. The child was admitted to RMH for treatment.
The dean advised people not to resort to practices like giving mercury coated betel leaves to babies as such practices might turn fatal for the child.
Another child with mercury poisoning from the same Mayiladuthurai area was admitted to the hospital on July 27 and discharged on August 7....