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Doctors save 12-day-old baby stabbed in the skull by possibly insane woman

Update: August, 10/2015 - 00:00
The knife that was stabbed into the baby's head. — Photo courtesy of Pediatrics Hospital No 1


HCM CITY (VNS) — Doctors at the HCM City Paediatrics Hospital No 1 have successfully operated on a 12-day-old infant who was stabbed in the skull with a knife.

At 6.45am last Saturday the child was brought to the hospital's emergency ward from the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long where he had been treated for pneumonia for four days.

He had an 11cm knife embedded in the left eye socket thought it had "miraculously" missed the eye itself.

At 10.30am on the same day, a team of 30 doctors performed a three-hour operation to open the skull to remove the knife, Dao Trung Hieu, deputy director of the hospital, who led the surgical team, said.

"Though his life has been saved, we cannot predict what will happen in the next few days," Hieu told the media on Monday.

Infection would be a critical threat, he said, adding that the knife had been dirty.

Two days after the operation, the baby is stable with a heart rate of 160 beats per minute, Pham Thi Thanh Tam, head of the hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit said.

He is on a respirator and is fed intravenously, Tam said.

Culprit arrested

Nguyen Thi Van, 51, of Ben Tre Province, the alleged assailant, has been arrested, Pham Van Ngan, deputy director of the Vinh Long Province Department of Public Security, said.

He told the media yesterday that Van, suspected to be insane, claimed she wanted to die and tried to kill the baby so that its relatives would kill her in revenge.

At 10pm last Friday she came to the Vinh Long General Hospital and the room where the baby and his mother, Vo Thi Hong Duyen, were staying.

She sought Duyen's permission to sleep overnight in an empty bed in the room and Duyen agreed.

At midnight that day Van took a knife and plunged it into the head of the baby while mother and son were sleeping.

The details are not clear but it is known that Duyen and the others in the room shouted out after seeing the woman move around in a suspicious manner, and Van tried to flee but was caught.

Duyen did not know that the woman had committed the ghastly act until she returned to the baby.

The baby was given emergency treatment and transferred to the HCM City Paediatrics Hospital. —VNS

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