A newborn in Mumbai, India, had a broken vaccine needle stuck inside his bottom for days. In the image, a baby's foot is seen between the sheets inside the childbirth unit at a hospital, Oct. 21, 2011. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

A newborn in Mumbai, India, had a broken vaccine needle stuck inside his bottom for days and no one knew about it until the baby developed fever and swelling in his right thigh.

Three days after his birth, the baby was taken for vaccination at a local clinic for an intra-muscular vaccine injection when the needle mistakenly got stuck inside the child. Neither the clinic nor the child's parents knew what happened until the baby started showing signs of an infection when he was 21 days old.

“The child seemed fine but when he was 21 days old, he developed fever and his right thigh was swollen. Scared, we took him to a private clinic in Chembur (locality in Mumbai),” the baby's mother Aastha Sudhakar Pashte, 28, said.

Dr. Pradnya Bendre said they treated the baby for "osteomyelitis" (bone infection). But later X-ray showed the presence of the needle dangerously close to the bone.

“Doctors thought it was flu and gave medicine for it, but the child did not show any improvement, so we took him to Wadia Hospital. It was shocking to hear the doctors at Wadia saying a broken vaccine needle was stuck inside his left buttock, because of which he cried whenever it was touched during massage. We are planning to file a case against the clinic once our baby is discharged from the hospital,” Pashte said.

A doctor at the hospital, where the child underwent a two-hour surgery to remove the needle, told local media that the baby was stable and recovering in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“The baby had to undergo intra-operative surgery for removal of foreign body. It was difficult to find the exact location; hence multiple X-rays were done to find the position of the needle. It was two hours before the needle was removed under C-arm guidance localisations. The 2cm-long object was embedded in the capsule of the left hip joint and the baby has recovered uneventfully, without complications,” said Dr. Bendre.

Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala, a chief executive officer of Wadia Hospital, said the child was lucky that the issue was diagnosed in time. “We want to highlight the issue so that such a blunder is not repeated in future,” she said.