Time to recover. Dr Yasser Khattab of Mediclinic City Hospital with May during a follow-up consultation Image Credit: Virender Saklani/XPRESS

DUBAI A toddler recently underwent an emergency operation at a Dubai private hospital after her hand got crushed in a high-rise elevator.

The mother of May, 22 months, from the UK told XPRESS the incident occurred in a building in Al Khan, Sharjah.

She said: “We were riding the elevator to view an apartment in the building. When we reached the 32nd floor where the flat was located, the elevator door began to open and before we knew it, we heard May screaming. Her right hand was stuck in the elevator door which had taken it all the way into the wall.”

She said although her husband managed to release the child’s hand immediately, considerable damage had been done.

“May was terrified. She was crying as her hand bled. The skin was ripped back and her fingers were all soaked in red. We were not sure how extensive the injury was at that time,” she recollected.

Tendons torn

The woman said an ambulance which arrived at the building within minutes took May to a government hospital in Sharjah where she was attended to.

“We then brought her to the Mediclinic City Hospital in Dubai where she was rushed to the emergency,” she said.

Dr Yasser Khattab, specialist plastic surgeon who operated on the girl, said: “May suffered a degloving injury. The soft tissue in her right hand had been ripped off and had retracted back towards the bone. Three extensive tendons were torn and we had to repair them. Her middle, ring and little fingers were affected. Fortunately, there was no injury to the nerves or fracture to the underlying bone. We cleaned her wounds and operated upon her under general anesthesia. Once the soft tissues were sutured in layers, we applied a cast.”

The surgery took two-and-a -half hours and the girl was discharged the next day.

The doctor said this was not the first time such a case had come to him. “Unfortunately, such cases have become common. Just this week, I operated on another toddler aged one and a half, who suffered a degloving injury after a lift door in a Dubai building closed on her left hand. The French girl was visiting the emirate with her family.”

He said a lot of youngsters sustain injuries on the treadmill, escalator and elevator. “Parents must be very alert when children use these facilities.”

According to reports, a five-month-old Pakistani boy died in 2013 after falling off his mother’s hands in an escalator mishap in Sharjah.

Recent international shockers include a woman who died on an escalator after pushing her toddler to safety in a Chinese store and a boy, 3, who lost his right hand in an escalator mishap in a Malaysian shopping mall.

May’s mother said: “Be wary. Such accidents are not something we think about. They happen in a flash. We must be alert and educate our children to stay safe.”

She said May is currently undergoing hand therapy and her cast would be removed this week.




Don’t stop the doors from opening or closing

Never stick your hands or feet between the doors

Stand away from the doors

Take the stairs in case of fire

Locate the alarm button

Watch over children, never leave them unattended



Check the stairs direction

Never ride barefoot

Tie your shoes laces

Avoid carrying large bags

Stand in the middle of steps

Face forward, hold handrail

Watch out with loose clothing

Supervise children

Locate emergency buttons


YOUSPEAK: Have you had any similar experiences in the UAE?