The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hospital fails to save shrub baby

The baby boy, found in a shrub near the gynaecological ward of R.G. Kar Medical College and Hospital on the night of December 27, died a few days ago.

The infant had been discovered by a hospital employee and admitted to the paediatric ward, where efforts were on to revive him. The police could not trace the parents of the newborn and no one contacted the hospital to claim the baby, either.

Prabhati Banerjee, head of the paediatric department of the state-run hospital, said on Tuesday that the boy had not survived despite their best efforts. “All we can say is that the child died, although our doctors and nurses did their best to keep him alive,” observed Banerjee.

The baby boy had been kept in isolation in the nursery. He was suffering from “acute malnutrition” and rashes had broken out all over his body. Doctors had earlier said the infant had caught a bad cold after being abandoned soon after birth and dumped in the garden outside the hospital’s gynaecological ward.

On hearing the news of the baby’s death, deputy commissioner of police (north) K.L. Tamta said “stern action” would be taken against the local nursing homes indulging in abortions and sparking abandonment of newborns.

“A survey has been conducted in the area to identify the nursing homes that run maternity wards and neo-natal care units. I have asked my officers to speed up the probe, so that unscrupulous nursing homes can be identified and necessary action taken against them at the earliest,” Tamta said.

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