The mother of a two-year-old who was left with catheter fragments lodged near her heart has reported the case to police to seek justice.
The incident happened as little Olivia was born prematurely and weighed only 1.7 kilogrammes (3.7 lbs) in the city of Berezniki, Russia, in April 2021.
Olivia was fed through the catheter which broke less than 24 hours later, leaving 15.5 centimetres (6.1 inches) of the silicone tube in the vein, and three days later, one of the pieces of that tube reached the pulmonary artery.
Previously, catheter fragments were found near the heart, and no attempt was made to remove them from the vein.
Luiza Khairutdinova, Olivia’s mother, told local media: “The day after giving birth, I went to take milk to my daughter. When I came in, the doctors were examining her hand and had X-rays, and they then put her back in the crib.
“Returning to my room, I saw doctors in the corridor and asked if anything else was needed for the child, but they told me that everything was fine. I walked slowly—it was difficult to move after a cesarean—and then a woman doctor called me.
“She started trying to tell me about the catheter, but I stood in shock, was recovering from anaesthesia, and it was difficult to understand anything.
“Later, they explained to me that when the doctors went to change the catheter, they noticed that a leak had started – this was visible on the bandage that was tied on top.
“Therefore, the doctors decided to place the catheter in a different place. But when they began to remove the leaking catheter, only 9.5 centimetres (3.7 inches) was removed from its length of 25 centimetres (9.8 inches).”
She had never been told how it had disintegrated but after four days, when Olivia was on the way to Perm Children’s Clinical Hospital No. 13, a piece of the catheter went further up the vein and eventually ended up in the pulmonary artery.
Luiza said she sent requests for an operation to remove the catheter to the Perm branch of the Federal Vascular Center and to the Moscow hospital, but she was refused.
The doctors did not want to risk removing the foreign object, because this would have required opening the baby’s chest.
After a month of hospitalization, they told her that the catheter had passed the dangerous area and the child was ready for discharge.
Now, Olivia needs to be prevented from getting sick because the inflammatory process provokes the growth of blood clots, and she is not allowed to go to nursery school as a result.
In March, initiation of a criminal case was ordered and according to Olivia, the case did not move forward, not even an examination was ordered, and the woman again turned to the head of the Investigative Committee with a request to transfer the case to a special department.
She told local media: “We learned from the investigator that the second part of the catheter was destroyed.
“It was supposed to be stored in a quarantine zone, and the chief doctor was responsible for its destruction, but even here no one was punished.”
Luiza now wants to find those responsible for this incident.
She said: “Back then I didn’t have the moral strength to run around the courts or actively contact anyone, I just made sure that my child was healthy.
“Now I also don’t know the best way forward. On the one hand, open the chest, stop the heart in order to get the catheter. Or on the other hand, if I leave it that could also prove fatal.
“There is still a risk that the catheter will get into the lungs. But the doctors say not to think about it.
“The hope is it will get wedged in a place where it won’t go any further. The cardiologists reassured me that it was now just a waiting game, saying ‘This is her distinctive characteristic, some kids have a mole, and she has a catheter in her heart.'”
Luiza said the hospital did not issue either an apology or any compensation.
The Information Center of the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement obtained by Newsflash on 4th December that the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Perm Territory Golovkin D.V. had been told to submit a “detailed report on the progress and preliminary results of the investigation.”