Baby found alive hours after being pronounced ‘dead’

July 2nd, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 2 (IANS) The Kolkata police initiated an inquiry Wednesday into the bizarre incident of a newborn being found alive 10 hours after it was pronounced dead by doctors at a private hospital. The premature baby boy, born around 1 a.m. Tuesday, was being treated at another private hospital.

“The infant is stable, but still not out of danger. Nothing can be said for certain about such premature babies. But, yes, it is improving,” a spokesperson of the Calcutta Medical Research Institute, where the baby was kept in an incubator, told IANS Wednesday.

The baby, born to Sangita and Manas Das of the neighbouring Howrah district, was initially declared stillborn by the Bellevue Hospital.

“They (hospital authorities) told my wife that the boy was stillborn, but did not care to inform me. Nor did they show the baby to Sangita,” said an angry Das, who has two other children.

The nurses told the father as also other members of the family next morning that the baby ‘died’ after being strangulated by the umbilical chord.

The desolate father, who took the baby in his lap for one last time around 11.30 a.m., was startled to find the body warm and its heart beating.

“We were then discussing about burying the baby. I was very distraught. But immediately after seeing signs of life in the baby I alerted the doctors,” Das said.

The doctors re-examined the baby, found it in a serious condition, and soon the hospital authorities decided to shift the newborn to the CMRI.

“They wanted to avoid responsibility. So, they shifted it to another hospital,” said the father, who alleged that none of the doctors were present at the time of the delivery.

However, Bellevue chief executive officer Pradip Tondon denied any negligence on the part of the hospital.

“There was no negligence on the part of the doctors. Such things happen. Good that it was detected in time and we transferred it to another hospital for better recovery,” Tondon told IANS.

Asked whether the hospital would probe the incident, Tondon replied: “If need be, we will conduct a probe. But so far, we have not decided on that.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Rajesh Subarna said: “We have received a complaint and initiated an inquiry. We will place the matter before a medical board. But since the baby is ok, no case has been registered so far.

“If, god forbid, something untoward happens to the baby, then we will do whatever is needed to be done as per law,” Subarna said.

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