The newborn who was erroneously declared dead by Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, last Friday died at a local nursing home on Wednesday afternoon. To register their protest, the family refused to take the body and demanded that the doctors facing allegations of medical negligence be arrested.
Doctors at the nursing home in Pitampura declared the 23-week-old premature baby, who was on ventilator support for the last five days, dead on Wednesday. “The baby was declared dead around 1.05 pm. His condition had worsened over the night. On Tuesday night, the doctors told us his condition is very critical and there is little chance of survival. On Wednesday afternoon, he was officially declared dead,” said Deepak, the baby’s uncle.
The body was taken to Safdarjung Hospital for post-mortem. The Delhi Police, meanwhile, said the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch.
Refusing to take the body, Ashish Kumar, the child’s father, said: “We are only demanding justice. The doctors and the hospital has committed criminal negligence by declaring my newborn baby dead. We only know that an FIR has been registered in the case. We now demand that the police arrest the doctors who committed the crime. Till this demand is met, I will not take my son’s body.”
Last Friday, allegations had emerged that the hospital handed over twins it had declared dead to the family in “polythene packets” and that one of the babies turned out to be alive while being taken to the cremation ground.
The family has now alleged that the Delhi government did not help the family move the child to a better hospital. “After we found that the child was alive, we shifted the baby to a local nursing home. We were forced not to take the baby to Max Hospital, as we had lost faith in them. The Delhi government knew about the critical condition of the baby. But no one from the government came forward and offered us help to move the baby to a better hospital,” Deepak said.
Responding to the allegation, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, “We constituted a committee to examine the matter within two hours of receiving the news. We can only act according to the law. It is a matter of two or three days. And, to shift a newborn in such a condition is a very difficult task. We will take strictest action against the hospital if they are found guilty.”
On Tuesday, the preliminary report filed by a three-member expert panel found the hospital “guilty of not having followed prescribed medical norms”. Meanwhile, Max Healthcare Authorities said, “We just learnt of the sad demise of the 23-week pre-term baby, who was on ventilator support. Our deepest condolences are with the parents and other family members. While we understand that survival in extreme pre-term births is rare, it is always painful for the parents and family. We wish them strength.”