Mumbai: India’s first Harlequin baby passed away on Monday afternoon after a 48-hour struggle by the medical experts at Lata Mangeshkar Hospital. The baby girl, suffering from an extremely rare genetic disorder known as Harlequin-type ichthyosis, was born without external bodily skin and undeveloped eyes.
The baby, born to a farmer couple from Wadi, was their first child. Born at the Nagpur Hospital, the baby weighed 1.8 kg and was born prematurely by a C-section delivery. The medical experts of the hospital, who immediately recognised the condition of the child, moved the baby to NICU.
Dean of the hospital, Dr Kajal Mitra, confirmed that the baby was suffering from respiratory problems because of complications in chest expansion due to the dead skin. “The survival rate for a Harlequin baby is extremely bleak and the babies generally succumb within hours or days of birth. Our senior medical experts were observing the baby 24/7 and I had personally contacted my colleagues in the US and UK to constitute a line of treatment. But, considering that there is such little research done about the disease, and this particular case was an extreme variety of the disease, unfortunately the baby passed away at around 4.30 pm,” he said.
He further added that the hospital would ensure that the case is published in a scientific paper so that fellow medical experts are better equipped to handle such cases. “There is an entire month observed as Harlequin Baby Month in the UK and in India there isn’t a single case which has been reported till now. We will make sure that the case is published and offer experience for the medical experts across the world in future,” added Dr Mitra.
(This story originally appeared in the Asian Age)...