IPOH - Specialists at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here said they need a few more days to decide on the safest way to remove a stray bullet that had lodged behind the throat of 10-year-old Mohd Amar Mohd Azizi.
Hospital director Dr Raja Lope Ahmad Raja Ariffin said the doctors were still mulling over the safest procedure with minimal risk.
"This is a risky operation and, as such, we need more time to deliberate on it," he told reporters while Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir was visiting the young patient yesterday.
It was reported that the boy was hit by a stray bullet from an off-duty policeman's service revolver.
The incident happened at a house in Kampung Belanja Kiri, Parit, about 60km from here, at about 4.30pm on Monday.
The policeman, a sergeant, was reportedly at his mother-in-law's house cleaning his pistol when it went off.
The bullet was lodged between the skull and neck bone, just a centimetre from Mohd Amar's spinal cord and arteries.
Hospital neurosurgeon Dr Cheang Chee Keong was reported as saying he hoped the surgery could be carried out soon, fearing movement might damage the vital structures around the bullet.
Dr Raja Lope Ahmad said the doctors were in constant discussion with Mohd Amar's family.
"We will brief the boy's parents on all available options and choose the one with the least risk," he said.
Mohd Amar's father Mohd Azizi Abdullah Halim, 48, said he understood that the surgery was not something that could be rushed, as a life was at stake.
"I have to be patient and place my trust in the surgeons," he said.
Dr Zambry, who visited the boy at the paediatric intensive care unit, said the state government would provide financial assistance to the family.
"I hope the boy can return to normal life as soon as possible. Let us pray for his recovery," he said.
Meanwhile, a police source said action would be taken against the sergeant for not surrendering his firearm when he was off-duty.