Harlequin Baby Dies Two Days After Birth

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Nagpur: The Harlequin baby, who was put on oxygen this morning, lost the battle with life at the private run Lata Mangeshkar Medical College and Hospital on Monday evening.

A 23-year-old woman from Amravati in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra gave birth to the baby girl, weighing 1.8 kg with a severe congenital disorder and barely any skin, on Saturday. The infant was suffering from a rare congenital disorder called Harlequin Ichthyosis, in which the baby’s skin was covered with hardened, cracked skin and her internal organs were visible.

The father and her grandmother were shown the baby and doctors told them about the disease. “The father of the baby, a poor farmer from Amravati, and her grandmother were shocked to see her. However, they have accepted the situation,” says Dr Kajal Mitra, the dean of the medical college and hospital.

The baby was not shown the mother till Sunday but only this afternoon by a group of doctors in presence of a psychiatric doctor. She broke down as soon as she saw her abnormal baby.

The baby had breathing problems since morning and was put on a ventilator. The mother was no a regular patient at the hospital and hence it missed detecting the disease. “Even otherwise skin disorders, especially Harlequin Ichthyosis, cannot be picked up on conventional ultrasonography,” pointed out Dr Mitra.

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