New Delhi: Doctors at a leading private hospital here on Friday flagged the potential threat a ‘Chinese manjha’ — glass-coated thread used largely for kite-flying — poses to people as they presented cases of two women patients who recently underwent life-saving surgeries after accidentally sustaining severe injuries from it in streets.
One of the two patients, Vidywati, 61, was riding a two-wheeler in east Delhi when she suddenly felt a thread around her neck area. The injuries due to it was so deep, as if “her throat was slit with a knife,” said a doctor from the team which operated on her later.
She and the other patient, Usha Rajan (54), both shared their experiences at a press conference organised here by Max Hospital, Patparganj, which was addressed by Dr Manoj K Johar, who led the team that operated on them, along with a few other doctors, a spokesperson of the hospital said.
Besides, highlighting the menace of “Chinese manjha” to life and limb of people, they also underlined its alleged “rampant illegal sale, despite a ban” by the government, the hospital authorities said.
ICAI to set up fast track cell to deal with cases against CAs for incorporating Chinese shell companies
Vidyawati was riding a two-wheeler when she felt a thread around her neck area and the next moment she felt an “excruciating pain with profuse bleeding”, doctors said.
“Some passers-by and police came to her help. She was taken to the nearest local hospital where she was diagnosed with a severe deep neck injury and advised to be shifted to a super-speciality hospital. She was then brought to Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj,” the hospital later said in a statement.
“She had deep injuries in her throat. Due to severe blood loss, the patient was in a very serious condition. Her neck was so badly injured that it required immediate emergency life-saving surgery. Plastic surgery was successfully performed with neurovascular and muscle repair followed by anatomical closure of the neck. She is still recovering physically, but it will take a long time for her to recover psychologically,” said Dr Johar, senior director and head of the department of plastic surgery, at the hospital.
Despite the recovery, Vidyawati still fears the reoccurrence of the event and pleaded to the authorities concerned to ensure compliance of the ban on the sale of ‘Chinese manjha’, doctors said.
It’s a misconception about the ‘Chinese manjha’ that it is imported as a whole. Instead, the yarn, staple fibre, man-made filaments, etc., which are imported. The use of nylon or single plastic fiber strings composed of monofilament fishing lines, coated with powdered glass in place of the traditional cotton thread has turned kite-flying, once a harmless sport, into a “social threat,” the hospital said in its statement.
Although it is made locally, the transparent, light-coloured thread, commonly referred to as ‘Chinese manjha’, is not particularly noticeable, it said.
“A lot of times, such victims, as a result of this injury, being caught by surprise, also tend to suffer falls at high speeds or collisions with other vehicles due to loss of control, thereby not only endangering their own lives but that of others. After similar incidents were reported in 2016, the government had issued a ban on the use of these products,” Johar said, and alleged that “now its use has gone up again”.
Sharing the tale of his patient Rajan, the doctor said, she was admitted to the hospital with an “injury in the right leg due to a sharp manjha cut”.
She was crossing a road when a kite string got stuck in her leg causing a complete transection of her tendoachilles (muscles that connect the calf with the heel bone) causing severe bleeding. She also had to undergo a repair surgery, the doctors said.
Dr Kousar Shah, senior vice president and head, Max Hospital, Patparganj, said: “These two cases are evident of the threat the illegally-manufactured ‘manjha’ pose. The rise in cases around January and August each year raise a serious concern on their sale, despite a ban.
We also come to hear about the grievous injuries it causes to stray animals. As a society, we need to be aware of the fatal injuries these ‘manjas’ can cause and stop the use with immediate effect. I also wish to plead to authorities concerned for enforcing the ban more stringently”.
The press conference about and the sharing of the case study of the two patients who underwent surgeries in the last two months, came ahead of the 76th Independence Day. In India, kite-flying is a popular recreational activity and it is at its peak during the festival of Makar Sankranti (January 14) and Independence Day (August 15), the statement said.
“During this period, kite thread-induced injuries is one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in India. To prevent such injuries and deaths, the authorities need to crack down on manufacturers or stop the import of such items and break the trade chain,” it said.
In 2020, a former cricketer’s son was caught up in a similar accident receiving “severe injuries” during a morning bicycle ride, the hospital authorities said.