Amritsar witnesses second 'plastic baby' in 2 years

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 11:49 IST

A woman from Rajansansi has given birth to a collodion baby girl — the second in Amritsar in the past two consecutive years — whose chances of survival, according to doctors, are very rare.

The collodion baby is born with tight, waxy, shiny skin resembling plastic (called a collodian membrane), while mouth resembling that of a fish, and red hot eyes and lips (caused by the tight scaly skin) — is caused by a rare inherited genetic disorder (autosomal recessive genetic disorder) called Lamellar Ichthyosis that affects one in six lakh people.

The baby, who was taking treatment at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, was discharged on Monday.

The baby is the second case in Amritsar; earlier in 2014, a baby was born with similar defects, but died a few days after the birth.

“This is a permanent skin condition, which is very painful. Though emollients are often prescribed for such babies, their survival chances are between 15 and 20%,” said a doctor on condition of anonymity.

The doctors at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, who treated the baby, said the condition arises from a genetic disorder and is autosomal recessive and congenital ichthyosis (scaly condition of the skin). “This baby has thick skin, while other affected babies may have normal skin underneath after they shed their outer skin in 15-30 days, which can be very painful,” they said, adding collodion babies are usually premature.

The doctors said the thick skin did not only give the baby a “rubbery” look, but also made it hard for her to be fed by her mother.

Medical experts in the city said such a condition expose these babies to permanent risk of skin infection. Besides, they face the threat of hypothermia and dehydration.

They added that use of moisturisers or nursing in a humidified incubator could help prevent these problems.

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