The Indian Medical Association has sought details from Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh on whether it told parents of the newborn, who was erroneously declared dead, that Rs 45 lakh would be required for treatment of the premature baby, senior officials told The Indian Express.
On 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 baby continues to be critical.
The query on Rs 45 lakh is among eight questions the IMA — which is probing allegations of medical negligence — has sought answers to. Hospital officials said inquiry details will be shared at an “appropriate time”. The hospital had on Sunday terminated the services of two doctors, Dr A P Mehta and Dr Vishal Gupta, on the basis of an “initial discussion with the expert group”. The doctors were questioned by police Monday.
“There have been reports that the hospital told the parents that Rs 45 lakh would be required for the treatment of the newborn. We have asked if this was done. And if true, was this done as part of the counselling that was done after delivery; or was this told to the parents during the normal conventional counselling before the delivery,” IMA president Dr K K Aggarwal told The Indian Express.
Dr Aggarwal said that the IMA has asked whether “institutional protocol” exists in the hospital to deal with such cases. “Less than 20 weeks is an abortion and more than 28 weeks is a live baby. We have asked if a written protocol exists for a baby born after 20 weeks and before 28 weeks. Also, there are two types of treatment that need to be adopted between 20-28 weeks. First is surfactant with ventilator therapy. This treatment should be carried out on the child for three months. The second type of treatment is conventional and includes supply of nutrition. We have asked if the hospital has a protocol for treatment and, if yes, whether it was followed,” Dr Aggarwal said.
Surfactant is a mixture of lipids and proteins secreted into the lungs, the lack of which causes respiratory problems. If surfactant is lacking in a premature baby, an artificial surfactant is delivered using a breathing tube into the wind pipe.
The IMA said it has also asked if there was “a mistake in diagnosis” during the treatment. “We have sought details of the doctor who declared the baby dead and if there was a mistake in diagnosis. For example, a mistake can happen in case of hypothermia, a medical emergency when body loses heat faster that it can produce. We have also sought details on whether it was a normal delivery or C-section, and on the weight of the baby,” Dr Aggarwal said.