On Sunday, the Delhi police reported that a student from Delhi University had attempted to inject children with normal saline (NS) based on what he had seen in a YouTube video.
Sandeep, a second-year B.A. student, is a resident of Mandawali in east Delhi and worked part-time as a tutor for students between classes IV to XI at a coaching centre in the area.
According to the police, the appalling act was undertaken by Sandeep because he believed that administering these injections would ‘boost’ the memory power of his students.
The Incident And The Police Response
The police received word of the incident when it was informed to them by the parents of one of Sandeep’s students. Allegedly, the child had taken one of the syringes home and the incident was immediately brought to the notice of his parents.
When the police visited his location to question him, Sandeep admitted that he saw a YouTube video which gave him the idea, as it stated that normal saline solution can improve the memory of students.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), Deepak Yadav, has reported that the investigation has begun in full swing. Although he has not been formally arrested yet, an FIR has been registered against Sandeep under Section 336 (Acts endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.
By the time this incident was brought to the attention of the authorities, four other children had already been given the injection by Sandeep. However, it was reported that none of these children have been affected by the dosage and are free from any medical complications.
How Can Saline Solution Affect The Body?
The question that comes into the picture now is, what would have happened to these children if they had taken these doses over a long period of time, had the situation persisted?
The first concern is that a normal saline solution is a prescription medicine, which is required in cases of fluid or electrolyte replenishment. The dosage differs based on the weight, age and clinical condition of the patient. It is unlikely that the injection was being administered to the children based on any parameters or guidelines.
Another concern is the side effects that these injections can have on people. Some of the more common side effects include fever, injection site swelling, redness and infection, while symptoms like a faster heartbeat, rashes, joint pain and shortness of breath are for more extreme cases.
There are also safety concerns in terms of the process of injecting the students because if the saline is contaminated, or if it is accidentally injected into a blood vessel, there can be damages to the person’s skin or tissues.
But apart from all of this, one of the more prominent concerns is how much of what we see on the internet is worth acting on, and how we ought to use our discretionary powers to determine the risks and possible dangers of a situation.
The likelihood that this situation would have persisted and reached a point of irreversible damage is very high, if not for the intervention by the authorities. And one of the biggest takeaways is for people to understand the gravity of a situation and the importance of taking rational decisions.
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