MIOT successfully treats a Zanzibar patient affected by severe Nitric Acid burns - Press Meet - 06 July 2013.

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MIOT successfully treats a Zanzibar patient affected by severe Nitric Acid burns - Press Meet - 06 July 2013.

06th Jul 2013

The Island country of Zanzibar has local community leaders, popularly known as Sheha, who are the political representatives in each township representing the entire families of that town. The representatives are loyal to the incumbent ruling government.

However radical conservative groups have been targeting some of these leaders and maiming them with acid attacks. This is a preferred terrorist attack in Zanzibar. Concentrated Nitric acid is available from a battery factory and this is the weapon of attack. Ambush attacks are common with attackers hiding behind bushes.

Mr. Mohamed Omar Said (59 yrs old male) – a Sheha in his region is a victim of such cruel acid attack. He was attacked by an unknown man on 22nd May 2013. The unknown man poured a bucket of acid on his head and neck and ran away.

Mr. Mohammed Omar Said felt a sudden burning but gave chase. Soon pain and burning took over and he instead ran to police station. They poured water for half hour on his body and took him to hospital.

He spent 3 weeks in Mnazi Mmoja Hospital, and was on various antibiotics. However later his wounds involving scalp, neck and chest got infected and he also developed malaria.

It was decided to fly him to India, accompanied by a doctor. He thus came to MIOT hospitals on 21st June 2013.

He was running fever and culture of wound revealed organism resistant to almost all conventional antibiotics.

Thorough debridement (cleaning up of devitalized tissue) under anesthesia was done. Recreation of the original fresh wound is vital and more important than systemic antibiotics says Dr. Eapen Koshy (Head of department – Plastic and Craniofacial surgery at MIOT hospitals).

The wounds were then grafted carefully with skin from his own thigh with a remarkably good result.

His fever has subsided and all grafts have taken well; he has a smile back on his face and he has his flight booked back to Zanzibar on Sunday July 7th.

This is the second nitric acid burn from Zanzibar with similar history reported to MIOT in recent past. The previous politician had 60% burn, had to stay 5 weeks here and went back with all wounds grafted.

To travel 36 hours by flight with such horrendous injury, the trust placed in Indian doctors and hospitals is enormous. At MIOT we have upheld this trust to the full.