Delhi's Max hospital loses licence over classifying live baby as dead

The Delhi government today cancelled the licence of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, after the hospital last week wrongly declared a premature baby dead.

The baby, one of twins, was allegedly declared dead along with the other baby, but was found to be alive hours later. The baby, however, died on Thursday at a nursing home in Pitampura after battling for life for nearly a week.

A three-member inquiry panel appointed by the government submitted its final report to health minister Satyendar Jain.  The committee's report finds the hospiltal guilty of medical negligence.

The panel found the hospital administration guilty of not following prescribed medical norms in dealing with newborn infants.

"We have cancelled the license of Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh. The negligence is unacceptable," the Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said.

"Max Hospital is a habitual offender and three notices were served earlier to it. And, it has been found guilty in those cases too."

"Three notices had been issued to the hospital over lapses involving the EWS (extremely weaker section) quota patients. The action taken on it is in continuation of effect of previous notices," he added.

The Delhi government set up a committee following reports of the hospital wrongfully declaring one of twins on 30 November after when a woman, wife of one Ashish Kumar, gave birth to premature twins (boy and girl) at the hospital.

Both the babies were declared stillborn by the hospital and handed over to the family allegedly in a polythene bag. But to their utter horror, the family found that the boy was still alive, while they were on way to do their final rites.

The family rushed the baby to a nearby nursing home in Pitampura, while the mother remained at Max Hospital as she was very weak.

Dr Sandeep Gupta, director of Delhi Newborn Centre where the baby boy died, said it was a "losing battle" from day one.

"On November 30, the baby was brought to the centre and were able to maintain his vitals for a few days. The complications later began and the child had multi-organ dysfunction," PTI quoted Dr Gupta as saying.

Max Healthcare authorities released a statement saying, "We just learnt of the sad demise of the 23-week preterm baby, who was on ventilator support."

"Our deepest condolences are with the parents and other family members. While we understand that survival in extreme preterm births is rare, it is always painful for the parents and family. We wish them the strength to cope with their loss," it added.

Kumar, father of the twins, has refused to take the body of his child, and had demanded that the doctors of Max Hospital responsible for the act of negligence be arrested.

"I will not take my son's body until the two doctors are arrested," PTI quoted Kumar as saying. He also allegedly refused to get his wife discharged from Max Hospital, until they get justice.