Hospi­tal for boy, 5, af­ter sy­ringe in­ci­dent on bus

Young­ster stepped on dis­carded nee­dle while on pub­lic trans­port

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG SMITH csmith@the­courier.co.uk

A five-year-old boy had to un­dergo hospi­tal treat­ment af­ter be­ing pricked by a dis­carded sy­ringe on a bus in Fife.

The young­ster is thought to have had the nee­dle pen­e­trate his shoe and heel as he was walk­ing off Stage­coach’s num­ber 19 bus in the Cow­den­beath area ear­lier this week.

The com­pany has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Af­ter the boy com­plained of pain, his par­ents found ev­i­dence of the nee­dle in his footwear and took him to hospi­tal, where he spent time hav­ing blood tests, an­tibi­otics and Hepati­tis B in­jec­tions.

Doc­tors de­cided not to put him through more-in­ten­sive HIVpre­ven­ta­tive treat­ment as they deemed the risk of blood-to-con­tam­i­nated-blood con­tact to be less than 1%.

How­ever, he is to be closely mon­i­tored and will need to at­tend hospi­tal over the next few months at least for fol­low-up ap­point­ments and fur­ther Hepati­tis B in­jec­tions.

The boy’s mother con­firmed her son seemed fine, al­beit a “bit sore” and “tired”, but she hit out at any­one who would leave dis­carded nee­dles in a pub­lic place.

“Our lit­tle boy’s life could have been changed for­ever,” she said.

“Aware­ness is key, pre­ven­tion is fun­da­men­tal.

“If you’re go­ing to shoot up, do it in the pri­vacy of your own home, not on pub­lic trans­port. Dis­card your nee­dles in a safe man­ner al­ways.”

Af­ter learn­ing of the in­ci­dent, Stage­coach pulled the bus off the pop­u­lar Rosyth to Ballingry route and launched their own probe.

CCTV footage was re­viewed and his mother be­lieves the of­fend­ing nee­dle had been on the bus on Wed­nes­day.

“He got it stuck in his foot be­tween the wheel­chair area and the doors,” she said.

“He can be seen check­ing his shoe and limp­ing as if some­thing is in his shoe which, of course, there was.

“It could have been any­one drop­ping the nee­dle, not nec­es­sar­ily a junkie, although I can’t see why any­one would be in­ject­ing them­selves for some­thing like di­a­betes on a bus and be so care­less.”

A Stage­coach East Scot­land spokesper­son said: “Our first thoughts are for his wel­fare and we are glad to hear he is re­cov­er­ing well.

“We un­der­stand that his in­jury was dis­cov­ered at home af­ter walk­ing and trav­el­ling by bus home from school.

“Fol­low­ing a thor­ough re­view of CCTV, there does not ap­pear to be any ev­i­dence that he sus­tained his in­jury on board our ve­hi­cle.

“How­ever, we will be con­tact­ing him and his mother to dis­cuss the mat­ter and re­as­sure them about fu­ture travel.”

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