New Delhi: A baby declared dead along with his still-born twin by an upscale Delhi hospital, and handed over to his parents in a plastic bag, was found to be alive when he was about to be buried. The horrifying case of negligence at Max Hospital in north Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh has emerged at a time when another private hospital is being investigated for overcharging the parents of a seven-year-old girl who died of dengue.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he had ordered an inquiry and “strongest action” would be taken.
The twins, born yesterday, were being taken for burial when their parents realized, to their utter shock, that one of the babies was squirming in its bag.
According to the twins’ grandfather Pravin Malik, the family rushed to a nearby hospital in the bustling Kashmiri Gate area and were told that their baby boy was alive. Members of the family and their relatives protested at the Max hospital today, demanding action against it.
One of the twins was declared still-born soon after birth.
The surviving twin, the parents were told, needed critical medical care and had to be kept in the nursery for some months. The family paid an instalment and was reportedly debating its options of keeping the baby on ventilator support at a huge cost, when the parents were told that their second baby was also dead.
It was not, the family discovered just about an hour later.
Max Healthcare said the doctor responsible for the outrageous negligence had been sent on leave.
In a statement, the hospital said the “22-week premature baby” was handed over without any sign of life. “We are shaken and concerned at this rare incident. We have initiated a detailed enquiry, pending which, the concerned doctor has been asked to proceed on leave immediately. We are in constant touch with the parents and are providing all the needed support,” said the statement.
The hospital faces an investigation by the Delhi police, which called it “a very shocking incident and the height of negligence”.
Last month, the parents of a seven-year-old girl who died of dengue after a fortnight at Gurgaon’s Fortis hospital alleged that they were allowed to take their child’s body only after they paid a Rs. 18 lakh bill that allegedly included the cost of 2,700 gloves. The charge is being investigated by the government.