Coin-swallowing case: Severe pneumonia caused death of child, says chemical analysis report

Kochi: Prithviraj, the three-year-old boy in Aluva who died after swallowing coins, had succumbed to severe pneumonia and not choked on the coins, a chemical analysis report released on Friday stated. According to the report, there were no suspicious substances in the child’s body.

The report, which supports the tests carried out at the Pathology Lab, has been handed over to the police surgeon. As per the report, there were no lapses in the treatment given to the child. Earlier, the autopsy had indicated that the coins swallowed by the youngster had passed safely through the large intestine. There were no injuries or pus in the path followed by the coins, said the autopsy report.

Moreover, the child’s lungs were found to be badly damaged due to pneumonia. Prithviraj had undergone treatment for the disease at Ernakulam Medical College in August, 2019 for a week. He was also taken to a private hospital during February 2020. According to the chemical analysis and other reports, the child suffered from breathlessness during cold weather. The oxygen level in blood also was very low.

Prithviraj was the only son of Nandini and Rajya, who lived in a rented house at Kadungalloor, Aluva. Following the child’s death, there was a controversy over alleged denial of treatment by three government hospitals.

After the boy swallowed coins, he was taken to the Government Hospital, Aluva but was referred to General Hospital, Ernakulam. From there, the child was again referred to Government TD Medical College, Alappuzha for specialized treatment. But the doctors at the Medical College said that the child only had to be fed banana and rice for the coins to be expelled.

Prithviraj was subsequently taken home but again felt breathlessness and was rushed to Government Hospital, Aluva where he died. It was alleged that treatment was denied to the child as the family lived in an area severely affected by COVID-19, leading to the death. As the issue snowballed into a major controversy, an inquiry was ordered by the Health Minister, K K Shailaja.

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