Delhi hospital declares twins dead, family finds one alive on way to last rites
Hours after a Delhi hospital declared a set of premature twins dead, one of the infants was found to be alive by family members on their way to perform the last rites on Thursday.
A case of attempt to commit culpable homicide was registered on the family’s complaint against the hospital and its staff on Friday, police said.
The pair – a girl and a boy – was born in Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
The boy who survived is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Pitampura where his condition is “improving”, said Deepak Kumar, the uncle of the infant who has been named Champ by the family.
Max Healthcare authorities called the incident unfortunate and said the doctor concerned has been asked to proceed on leave pending inquiry. “We are shaken and concerned by this rare incident. We have initiated a detailed enquiry... We are in constant touch with the parents and are providing all support.”
Union health minister JP Nadda has asked the Delhi government to look into allegations of negligence and take necessary action. Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain called the incident a case of “shocking criminal negligence” and sought a report.
Kumar told HT that his sister-in-law Varsha, 20, was admitted to the hospital on November 28 where the twins were born and declared dead two days later.
The Nangloi resident had been referred to the hospital by a doctor six months into her pregnancy.
“A day later, doctors told us that an emergency delivery was needed because of the danger the pregnancy posed to Varsha’s life. The girl was born around 7.35am on Thursday followed by the boy at 7.42am,” said Deepak.
The hospital declared the girl dead immediately after birth while the boy was said to be critical, he added.
Varsha’s father Praveen Malik said the hospital initially said the boy could survive but would require months of ventilator support, which would cost about Rs 45-50 lakh.
Around 12.30pm, the boy too was declared dead and the bodies were handed over to the family in two plastic bags.
“On our way to their last rites, we noticed movement in one of the packets. On opening it, we found that the boy was breathing and took him to hospital,” he added.
Varsha, meanwhile, remains in Max Hospital.
“The family told us that there was spontaneous abortion and Varsha gave birth to one male and another female foetus. We have registered a case under Section 308 of the IPC and will question those named,” DCP north-west Aslam Khan said.
She did not specify whether the hospital was specifically named in the FIR or just the doctors and support staff who handled the delivery.
In a similar incident in June, a newborn declared dead at the Safdarjung Hospital showed movement when the family reached home. Admitted back to the hospital, the boy died after battling for life for 35 hours.