When parents welcome a baby in a hospital, they generally know the staff are competent and will give their child the best care. In this case, a negligent nurse was the cause of a baby needing to have his leg amputated, after she left a hair dryer on beside the infant in a neonatal intensive care unit in China. The newborn was just four days old and sustained severe burns on his leg.
The nurse forgot to turn off the hair dryer when she went to do other tasks, leaving it blowing hot air non-stop on the baby for an hour and a half, according to reports. The CCTV footage that was released by Henan Metropolitan News Channel shows the nurse using the hair dryer on the baby, then going on to do something else. The hair dryer fell on the infant where it left his left leg badly burned and injured. Doctors said the only option was to give him an amputation.
According to a report, neither the nurse or other nurses in the area were aware that the hair dryer was on or had fallen on the infant. A doctor noticed it when he came into the neonatal intensive care unit to examine the babies.
The baby was in the NICU because he was born at 36 weeks and required time in a neonatal incubator. Nurses were seen in the video using a hair dryer after bathing the children and the appliance fell onto one of the babies. His skin was so badly burned, it cracked open. The other two babies who were also in the room sustained minor burns and were treated.
Two nurses were found responsible for the negligence and were fired by the hospital.
The baby’s father told Henan Metropolitan News Channel: “If she had paid attention to the babies and quickly removed the hair dryer from them, he (my son) would have only suffered minor burns.”
The Deputy Director of the hospital extended his apologies for the incident, with the hospital offering to pay some of the baby’s medical expenses. The family has yet to accept that offer, however.
The baby’s grandmother was understandably worried about the child’s future, commenting: “The baby has become disabled just four days after birth. What’s his future going to be like?”
Among the comments on the Daily Mail was one person who remarked: “Maybe the nurse was overworked but how do you leave something hot and dangerous like that next to a helpless baby for an hour plus? It’s bad enough to be handicapped in the UK or the US — but the quality of life in Asia is much much worse for those who are handicapped.”
Another commenter asked: “They blow dry the babies after a bath?,” with a nurse chiming in to note: “At the start of my R.N. career I worked 3 years in a NICU. That hairdryer had no business being there whatsoever. I’m dumbfounded.”
Another commenter didn’t pull any punches, writing: “Idiot nurses. They need to be charged for negligence and reckless endangerment of the baby, not just fired.”