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Lesson from Kerala floods : Human activities, climate change has disastrous effects on environment

  Lesson from Kerala floods : Human activities, climate change has disastrous effects on environment   Sagaya Fernando Mumbai: 19 October 2021   Overexploitation of natural resources and haphazard development by humans has led to climate change, resulting in long-lasting consequences on the environment. This is increasing health hazards and natural disasters, and more, day by day. The torrential flooding being witnessed recently in the state of Kerala in India is a prime example of this, say many experts.   This is not the first time that Kerala, a state of 34 million people, has been devastated by floods. It saw the worst floods in a century in 2018 when severe rains caused flash floods and landslides, killing nearly 500 people and leaving a million homeless. The following year, more than 125 people were killed in flash floods and landslides across the state. More than 50 were killed in August last year after landslides struck the hilly Munnar region.   The latest spell of torrential

Doctors remove 1 kg hairball from 6-year-old girl who weighed only 14 kgs





Sagaya Fernando
Mumbai: 18 September 2018

In a very rare medical case, doctors in India removed a lump of hairball weighing 1 kg and about a meter long from the stomach of a 6 year-old-girl who was suffering from trichophagia along with wheat allergy.

The girl from Dad village on the outskirts of Ludhiana city in Punjab, India, was diagnosed with wheat allergy in April this year.

 “Her parents brought her to me in the last week of August with severe abdominal pain and a lump in the stomach. They also informed that she has been eating her hair, which in medical terms is called trichophagia,” informed Dr Daljit Singh of Anmol Hospital, Ludhiana, who conducted the surgery.

He further added, “She was very underweight and weak for her age. Though she was 6 years old, she weighed only 14 kilograms.”

“We got an ultrasound test done which showed some mass in her stomach. Because of her history of eating hair and the presence of a large mass, we conducted an endoscopy which confirmed it as a case of trichobezoar – the presence of hair mass in the stomach. As the mass was too big and not possible to have it removed laparoscopically or endoscopically we had to go for open surgery which was done on September 4,” said Dr Singh.

“The large lump of hair had completely taken the shape of her stomach. When I started removing it, I noticed that it was extending all the way into the patient’s small intestine. The length of the tail of this hairball mass was around one meter,” said he.

This unusual form of bezoar extending from the stomach to the small intestine or beyond is described as Rapunzel syndrome. The name ‘Rapunzel’ syndrome comes from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale of a 12-year-old princess who was shut into a tower with neither stairs nor doors by an enchantress who climbed up the tower’s walls with the help of Rapunzel’s long tresses.

“Due to gastric or psychiatric disorder, such patients start eating their own hair and are common mostly to girls. Such patients need counseling so that they don’t start eating hair once again,” said Dr Singh.

“This is a very rare case, and on searching medical journals, I have come across only 40 such cases being reported worldwide so far. Of these, the youngest child was 5-years-old from the United States, and from India, I could not find such a small child having been treated for Rapunzel’s syndrome. When we correlated it with wheat allergy we could find only 4 cases reported in the medical literature,” informed Dr Singh.

She was discharged on September 10, and is doing fine now, said he. 

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