Newborn left with 5-cent-coin sized hole in leg after hospital visit

SINGAPORE - It was not an occasion of joy but one of horror for one Singapore family when they received their child back home from the hospital.

An unnamed contributor to citizen journalism website Stomp sent in pictures showing his nephew with a large ulcer the size of a five-cent coin on his leg.

The pressure ulcer, which appeared to have burst, revealing black necrotic tissue underneath, is said to have resulted from the unsuccessful attempts of nurses attempting to insert an intravenous (IV) drip into the child.

"My sister just gave birth to her son on August 7, 2012. The child had to undergo a surgery immediately after birth due to some medical condition," the child's uncle said.

"According to my sister, it seems the nurses had some difficulties in inserting the intravenous (IV) drip as the vein of the child could be hardly seen.

"This wound is apparently caused by them trying to insert it into the same spot which resulted in this pressure ulcer," the contributor explained.

The contributor said that the wound may even turn into a necrotic wound if the condition worsens. Necrotic tissue is dead tissue that provides an ideal medium for bacterial proliferation and inhibits healing.

According the contributor, the family only found out about the ulcer when the child's mother spotted it during a wound-dressing procedure by a nurse.

As shown in the pictures, two weeks after the botched procedure, the wound is still the size of a five-cent or 10-cent coin. The family now needs to return to the hospital every two weeks to change the baby's dressing.

The family is demanding action by the hospital, saying that the incident is "not fair" to the mother.

"The hospital must do something about this. If not, this thing might happen again and they can get sued. We will not be happy if this thing happens, especially to a newborn baby," the Stomp contributor said.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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