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Infant dies as TN man tries to carry out wife’s delivery at home using YouTube videos

The profusely bleeding woman was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. The Health Department in Ranipet district has registered a complaint in the wake of the incident.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
December 20, 2021 4:02:21 pm
Deputy Director of Health (Ranipet), said that they registered a complaint as the couple’s action had led to the death of the infant. (File)

The Health Department in Tamil Nadu’s Ranipet district has registered a complaint after a man allegedly tried to help his wife deliver a baby at home with the help of YouTube videos as a result of which the woman gave birth to a stillborn. The woman has been admitted to Vellore Medical College Hospital in a critical condition.

Lokanathan (32), who runs a small store at Panapakkam near Nemili in the district, allegedly relied on YouTube videos to help his wife Gomathi (28) deliver their baby. V Manimaran, Deputy Director of Health (Ranipet), told indianexpress.com that they registered a complaint as the couple’s action had led to the death of the infant.

The Nemili police said they are conducting enquiries, but no one has been booked yet. “The family members said the delivery was done with Gomathi’s permission and that there was nothing wrong on the part of Lokanathan, so we have not booked anyone yet. We are conducting the enquiry, further action will be taken based on its outcome,” said a police official from Nemili station.

The police said Lokanathan and Gomathi got married in 2020. The woman was due to give birth on December 13. On December 18, she experienced labour pain, but instead of visiting the hospital, Lokanathan decided to help her deliver the baby at home. He sought the help of his sister Geetha and they also watched YouTube videos. After a long struggle, Gomathi delivered a stillborn male. Since she was bleeding profusely, her husband took her to a Primary Health Centre nearby, from where they were sent to the Vellore Government Hospital.

Manimaran said the couple had refused to go for regular check-ups after the woman became pregnant. “Gomathi became pregnant in March this year. They registered the pregnancy at the Primary Health Centre, but didn’t come for any subsequent check-up. When the Village Health Nurse (VHN) asked them to come for the check-up, the couple informed that they were taking treatment at the Vellore CMC Hospital. They were asked to provide receipts of the check-ups, which they kept delaying. The VHN contacted them again when the due date of December 13 neared, but they said they were taking care of it,” he said.

He added that when the VHN visited their house on December 18, Lokanathan told her that they had admitted his wife to the hospital. “The same day, he took the baby and his bleeding wife to the Punnai PHC. When the doctors at Vellore asked them why they didn’t get admitted to the hospital immediately, the family gave evasive replies. Gomathi then revealed that they had performed the childbirth by watching a YouTube video,” Manimaran explained.

PMK leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss took to Twitter and expressed his shock over the incident. He said childbirth was not like cooking rasam or making noodles which one can do after watching YouTube tutorials.

Cautioning people against taking such risks, he asked people to dial 108 in case of emergencies so that health personnel can arrive with a vehicle and take them safely to a hospital. He asked the government to spread more awareness to tackle the poisonous propaganda on social media that such procedures can be performed at home.

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