NEW DELHI — A 22-week baby, who was wrongly declared dead by a leading private hospital here last week, died here Dec. 6 but the family refused to accept the body until the erring doctors were arrested for medical negligence.
Doctors at the Agarwal Nursing Home where the newborn was admitted after the earlier blunder by Max Super Speciality Hospital in Shalimar Bagh declared the child dead at 12:00 p.m., the baby's father Ashish Kumar said.
"We will not accept the body as we want doctors of Max Hospital to be arrested first for wrongly declaring the baby dead on Nov. 30," a bitter Kumar told IANS. He said the family will hold a protest until their demand was met.
Max Hospital offered its condolences to the family.
"We just learnt of the sad demise of the baby, who was on ventilator support. Our deepest condolences to the parents... While we understand that survival in extreme pre-term births is rare, it is always painful for parents and family. We wish them the strength to cope with their loss," a Max statement said.
A three-member panel set up by the Delhi government, in its preliminary inquiry report submitted to Health Minister Satyendar Jain, has found the Max doctors guilty of not following medical norms in dealing with the premature newborn, due to which he was declared dead even though he was alive.
The panel had scrutinized hospital records and met the staff.
"No ECG was done to see whether the child was alive. The body was handed over without written instructions. Deceased and alive children were not kept separately," said a Delhi government spokesperson, shedding light on the report.
The minister has said that the final report will be out in two to three days and "strictest possible action" will follow.
On Dec. 5, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government was preparing a legal framework against hospitals involved in criminal negligence and looting of patients.
On Nov. 30, Max doctors had declared the 22-week-old premature baby dead at the hospital and handed over the body to parents in a polythene bag along with the infant's stillborn twin brother.
The family observed some movement in the bag while on way to perform the funeral. The baby was found alive and was rushed to a nursing home in Pitampura.
Max hospital has already sacked two doctors – A.P. Mehta and Vishal Gupta. An inquiry by an expert group, including experts from the Indian Medical Association, is underway.
In a similar case, a newborn was found alive even though doctors had declared him dead at the Safdarjung Hospital here in June.