Spontaneous Human Combustion: Test results of `fire` baby normal, say doctors

Zee Media Bureau/Liji Varghese

New Delhi: In what can be termed as the rarest of rare cases, a three-month-old baby boy has been diagnosed with a `medical hoax` called Spontaneous Human Combustion – a condition in which the burns are caused as the body catches fire because of the excretion of gases.

Over a dozen tests have been performed on the baby to check the vital functions and according to doctors the reports so far are normal.

Though some medical experts suspect the baby could be a victim of child abuse, tests so far have revealed no such signs. The test of liver and kidney were said to be normal and X-ray results showed no damage to the bones. However, the doctors treating the baby are in no hurry to rule out the possibility of child abuse.

The baby`s blood, urine and sweat samples are also being analysed to check for any toxic substance, a doctor treating the baby informed. A biopsy of baby`s skin will also be carried out once he recovers from the burns, the doctor added.

Rahul, born on May 22 to Rajeswari and Karna, residents of a village in Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, was admitted for treatment of ten degree burns last Thursday at the intensive care unit of Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, Chennai.

According to the parents, the baby suddenly caught fire at least four times since he was born, the first incident occurring just nine days after the birth.

Doctors are divided on their opinion about the rare medical condition, with some stating that it is a possibility and others completely rejecting it as a hoax.

The child, as of now is being given symptomatic treatment for burns with the administration of antibiotics.

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