Infant Twin Wakes on Way to His Funeral

Family in India noticed 'dead' baby moving in bag in a case of 'shocking criminal negligence'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2017 1:35 PM CST
They Were Told Their Newborn Had Died. Then the Bag Moved
A premature baby at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles on Dec. 14, 2011 (not either of the babies mentioned in this story).   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Police are on the case of an upscale New Delhi hospital for what the Times of India calls a "shocking case of negligence" after a premature newborn was declared dead, then later discovered by his parents to be alive on the way to his funeral. The BBC and the Hindustan Times report that the baby boy and his twin sister were delivered at Max Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, with the infants' maternal grandfather, Praveen Kumar, telling the Hindustan Times they arrived via C-section; a hospital statement says they were born early, at just 22 weeks. The baby girl was stillborn, but the baby boy was alive—albeit in bad shape and in need of intense, expensive medical care, per NDTV. It's when the parents decided to have him moved to a smaller, ostensibly less-expensive hospital, that they were told their son had also died.

Doctors reportedly placed both infants in plastic bags and handed them over to the family, which then headed out to offer the babies their last rites. While they were on their way, "we noticed movement in one of the packets," Kumar tells the Hindustan Times. When they opened the bag, they found the infant was breathing and rushed him to a local hospital, where was confirmed to be alive, but still in critical condition. Delhi's health minister called the report one of "shocking criminal negligence" online early Friday, while Delhi's chief minister said in a tweet that the "strongest action" would be taken if any parties were found guilty during an inquiry. Max Healthcare officials say they're "shaken and concerned at this rare incident," and that the doctor who made the error has been placed on leave. (Many babies born in India succumb to antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.)

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