The baby girl lying broken and battered on bed 13 of AIIMS’ neurosurgery ICU is “weak and not responding well to treatment”, doctors said on Thursday.
Nine days after she was brought to the trauma centre with multiple injuries, her frail body is hooked to tubes and monitors. The coming week is critical for her. “If she does not improve in the next seven days, chances of her survival will decrease,” said trauma centre chief Dr MC Misra.
A ventilator is keeping her alive. But this comes with its own risks. “Our main concern is getting her off the ventilator when her breathing stabilises. We will get to know how her brain is functioning only after she is off the ventilator,” Dr Misra said. “The longer one stays on life support, the greater the chances of acquiring complications such as pneumonia.”
The girl underwent brain surgery on the day she was brought in — by a teenager claiming to be her mother — on January 18. Since then she’s suffered two cardiac arrests. Even if she survives, the doctors fear the damage to her brain may be permanent.
Her injuries were fresh when she came in. “The bite marks and fractures did not seem more than a day old. The cheeks were badly swollen, indicating they’d been recently branded with a hot iron,” said one doctor.
The girl’s identity remains a mystery. The teen, the only link to her, has been counselled and is in a juvenile home.