Twin Tragedy : IMA holds Max doctors responsible for the mistake

NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) President  Dr. Agrawal on Thursday blamed the doctors of Delhi;s Max Hospital for “gross mistake” of declaring the newborns dead when the brain was still alive.

Explaining the status of ‘life’ in medical terms, Agrawal said “There are two deaths – temporary and permanent. Temporary is when heart has stopped, here the brain is still alive for one hour in adults and 4 hours in kids. Permanent means the brain too has stopped functioning,”

“And it is not right to declare an individual dead when it’s temporary,” he added.

More specific to the case where the twins died,  the president said  “There is a gross mistake at the level of the medical doctor who was attending the babies,”

“In this case, the mistake was they declared the child dead when the heart was dead, the respiratory was dead, but the brain was alive and therefore when the heart got revived, the child lived for another few days. So this is a basic mistake of diagnosing temporary death as permanent death,” the doctor added.

The Case
On Nov 30 20-yr-old Varsha gave birth to premature twins (23) weeks – a boy and a girl – at Max hospital. The girl was stillborn, the boy breathing.

According to the family, hospital demanded Rs. 50 lakh to treat the child.
Soon enough, the hospital informed that the body too had died and handed over the bodies in polythene bags.

On their way to perform rites, the family realized the boy was alive and took him to another nursing home.

Meanwhile, Max has sacked the doctors who treated the child. A preliminary report by a panel has been set up by Delhi govt to identify lapses on hospital’s part.

Preliminary report suggests that the hospital did not perform a Electrocardiography (ECG) to check if the infant’s heart was beating.

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