File photo of the main entrance of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital Dhaka Tribune
The baby was declared dead at first as she showed no signs of life but later was found to be alive just before burial at the graveyard
Doctors have termed the survival of a newborn, who was declared dead and later was found alive, a miracle.
They said keeping the premature baby alive would also be a miracle because of her health condition.
“Just as it was a miracle that the newborn survived, we also need a miracle to keep her alive,” said Dr Manisha Banarjee, head of the Department of Neonatology at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
Banarjee, who is also the head of the investigation committee to look into the matter, made the remark at a press conference on Tuesday.
“In our country, it is difficult to save a baby who is born at 28 weeks. This baby was born at 26 weeks. We are trying our best to keep her alive. She is in better condition than before but still not out of danger,” Dr Manisha Banarjee said.
“The newborn is receiving oxygen and taking antibiotics right now. Within a day or two, we will give her food in small amounts. Her condition can deteriorate any time. Please pray for her,” she added.
DMCH Director Brig Gen AKM Nasir Uddin said: “Our doctors were not negligent in their duties. After birth, the baby had no heartbeat. She was kept in observation for 45 minutes. But as her heart was not yet beating, the doctor declared her dead.”
“As the baby showed signs of movement at the graveyard, we cannot avoid responsibility. We have made some recommendations. Our four-member probe body has also made some recommendations,” he added
The newborn girl was declared dead on Friday by the duty doctor at DMCH but later was found alive just minutes before her burial at the graveyard.
The doctor declared the premature baby dead minutes after the mother, Shahinur Akter, gave birth to her early on Friday after nearly seven months of pregnancy.
The father, Yeasin Mollah, said that Shahinur, who was six months and 18 days pregnant, was admitted to the gynaecology department of DMCH on Wednesday.
He said that she went into labour on Friday morning. She gave birth to a daughter at around 5am. However, doctors informed them that the baby was dead.
Hospital staffers put the baby in an abandoned box of hand gloves and asked Yeasin to take her to Azimpur graveyard for burial.
Yeasin took the baby to Azimpur graveyard, but he was advised to go to Rayerbazar graveyard where the burial cost was comparatively lower as he lacked the money to go through the rites.
At the Rayerbazar graveyard, a grave was dug, but minutes before the burial, the box jerked and the baby showed signs of movement inside, Yeasin said.
He opened the box and found his baby alive; she was moving and opening her mouth. Yeasin then rushed the baby straight to DMCH again.
When the father brought her back to the hospital, the emergency department sent the baby to the Department of Neonatology. Some of the ward boys in the department told the father to take the baby to some place. The father had to wait almost an hour in this situation.
The DMCH director said in this regard: “We also found this out during our investigation.”
He said action would be taken against those negligent in duty.
“Not all the seats in the neonatal unit are always vacant. Still when I learned about the incident, I called the department head immediately. At that time, the premature baby was admitted to the department by shifting another baby who was in a somewhat better condition,” the DMCH director said.