Newborn declared dead by hospital in Delhi, found alive before burial

Recalling the harrowing tale, the father of the child said that the doctor declared the baby dead, sealed the body in a pack, labelled it and handed it over to them for burial

A hospital in Delhi declared a newborn dead only to realise at the time of the funeral that the baby was alive. The incident took place at Safdarjung hospital when a resident of Badarpur gave birth to a baby on Sunday morning. The baby was allegedly declared “dead” by the staff of the central government hospital after the nursing staff apparently failed to find any sign of breathing.

Recalling the harrowing tale, Rohit, the father of the child said: “The doctor and the nursing staff declared the baby dead and sealed the body in a pack, labelled it and handed it over to us for burial.”

A police officer, who did not want to be named, said that the baby had died only to later claim that it was a case of mistaken identity and it was another infant in the hospital who had died. The officer said that the baby is alive.

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Since the mother had not fully recovered, Rohit’s family members took the body of the infant home to prepare for the funeral. While holding the baby, Rohit’s sister sensed some movement and opened the pack in which the baby was wrapped. On opening the packet, they found that the baby was breathing and moving its limbs.

A PCR call was made and the baby was rushed to Apollo Hospital from where it was shifted to Safdarjung.

The parents have approached the police in connection with the case. “How can they be so irresponsible and declare a baby, who is alive, as dead? If we had not opened the sealed pack in time, my baby really would have died and we would never have come to know the truth. This is a gross negligence on the part of the hospital and the guilty should be punished,” Rohit said.

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An enquiry has been ordered by the Safdarjung hospital authorities into the case. “The woman had delivered a baby 22-weeks-old premature baby. As per WHO guidelines, babies born before 22 weeks and weighing less than 500 gms do not survive and are not considered as deliveries. The baby was motionless without any cry or respiration after birth. “We have ordered an inquiry to find out whether it was not checked properly if the baby was alive before being declared declared and handed over to his parents,” said AK Rai, Medical Superintendent at Safdarjung hospital.

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