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Max Hospital controversy: Found alive after being ‘declared dead’, newborn passes away

SNS | New Delhi |

The newborn baby, who was declared ‘dead’ along with its stillborn twin by Max Hospital located in north-west Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh, has reportedly died on Wednesday after being in intensive care unit (ICU) for less than a week.

On November 30, the premature twins were allegedly declared dead by Max Hospital, and were handed in a polythene bag to their parents, who later realised that one of them was alive while on way their to a crematorium to perform the last rites.

The mother of the twins was brought to Max hospital from a nursing home in Paschim Vihar.

Earlier in the day, in a preliminary investigation, the north Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh-located Max Super Specialty Hospital has been found guilty of not following the prescribed medical norms in dealing with dealing with the 22-week premature newborn.

The preliminary report by a three-member panel of the Delhi government was submitted to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain after scrutinising hospital records and meeting the staff concerned.

“No ECG tracings was done to trace whether the child was alive, body was handed over without written instructions, and dead and alive children were not kept separately,” said a spokesperson of the Delhi government unveiling the content of the preliminary report.

Doctors’ employment terminated 

The private hospital in Max Super Speciality Hospital on 4 December terminated the services of two doctors involved in the declaration of a 22-week-old premature baby as dead, while one was alive.

Delhi Police notice to hospital

On 3 December, the Delhi Police had issued a notice to the administration of Max Hospital for ‘medical negligence’, after the hospital declared a baby dead along with its stillborn twin, but was found to be alive later.

The police had also asked the private hospital for a detailed information, about the duty of doctors and nurses during the incident, and also asked the hospital to be available for questioning.

Police have already registered a case of attempt to commit culpable homicide against two doctors.

Action against hospital, if required: Delhi Health minister 

On 2 December, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that strict action will be taken against Max Hospital, Shalimar Garden branch, and if required its licence would be cancelled, after the hospital in a case of ‘medical negligence’ declared a baby dead along with its stillborn twin, but was found to be alive later.

“When we came to know about negligence on the part of the hospital we ordered inquiry into the same. And I want to assure all that if they don’t work properly we will cancel the licence of the hospital,” Jain said.

He said the enquiry report will come by Monday.

Jain also said that a show cause notice was served to the hospital on 22 November for not treating the patients of EWS (economically weaker section) category.

Police complaint against hospital 

After the incident, the family approached the police and lodged a complaint against the hospital

“We received a call at Shalimar Bagh Police Station. The callers said one Varsha, wife of Ashish, was referred to the Max Hospital from a nursing home in Paschim Vihar on account of possibility of premature delivery. She was admitted there on 28 November. The doctors had told the family that she was serious and the chances of survival of the twins were slim, as she was six months pregnant,” police said on Friday.

Varsha had given birth to a boy and a girl. The family was later informed by the hospital that the twins were stillborn and handed over to the family, they said.

Family allege ‘negligence’ by Max Hospital

The family was handed the babies in a polythene bag and they were on way to perform their last rites, when the father felt the boy move inside the bag.

“We tore the packet, there were 2-3 clothes and polythene bags. The kid was still breathing. We rushed the baby to a nearby nursing home in Pitampura,” the father said.

Clarification by hospital

The Max Hospital in a statement on 1 December said, “It has been brought to our attention that a premature (22 weeks), newborn baby who is reported to be on life support at a nursing home was unfortunately handed over without any sign of life by Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh.”

“This baby was one of the twins delivered on 30 November morning. The other baby was stillborn. We are shaken and concerned at this rare incident,” it said.

The statement said a detailed enquiry was initiated, pending which, the concerned doctor was asked to proceed on leave immediately and they were in constant touch with the parents and are providing all the needed support.

The hospital also said it was in constant touch with the parents and ready to extend all support.

A similar incident was reported from Safdarjung Hospital in June when a newborn was found alive after doctors had declared the baby dead.

(With agency inputs)