The toll in the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital fire mishap rose to 11 with a week-old premature baby dying in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Holy Spirit Hospital in the early hours on Friday.
Her mother Lalita Logavi had delivered twins, a boy and a girl, on December 14, both born prematurely after an in-vitro fertilisation procedure.
According to father Anil Logavi, a Virar resident, Lalita underwent a Caesarean-section weeks before the planned delivery date. This was the couple’s first pregnancy.
While the baby boy was relatively healthier, the twin baby girl weighed over 650 grams during birth and was admitted in ESIC hospital’s intensive care support along with him on the hospital’s fourth floor. When the fire broke out, the two were amongst the five newborns to be rushed to Holy Spirit Hospital where they continued to remain in the NICU. Lalita, who was on the third floor of the hospital when the fire erupted, was also shifted to Holy Spirit after her husband rescued her.
Premature babies have underdeveloped organs. In this case, the babies were on oxygen support at ESIC hospital until they were rushed out to an ambulance and again put on oxygen support. Doctors suspect they may have inhaled fumes during rescue operations.
The baby girl’s condition was critical since Monday in the NICU. She was put on life support system. At 12.20 am Friday, the baby was declared dead. The doctors had counselled the parents for two days about the worsening condition of the newborn. “She died due to sepsis in a case of disseminated intravascular coagulation. It was a complicated condition,” said Siser Sneha, executive director at the hospital.
Her twin brother now weighs 1.25 kg. “He has become active and is gaining weight,” she added.
The distraught mother Lalita is recuperating in the hospital. The baby’s body was not sent for post-mortem after Holy Spirit Hospital opined on cause of death.
Doctors claim it is possible the baby’s condition worsened during rescue operations when she was put off oxygen support- her lungs were underdeveloped and unable to function properly.
With this, the death toll in the fire mishap that took place on Monday in Marol touched 11. Ninety one patients continue to remain admitted in seven different hospitals. Of them, four newborns continue to remain in NICU and four others are critical in Seven Hills and Holy Spirit Hospital.