The Torreón hospital in which a baby was mistakenly pronounced dead. The Torreón hospital in which a baby was erroneously pronounced dead.

Baby dies after being mistakenly pronounced dead 4 days earlier

The infant was in the morgue when the hospital discovered he wasn't dead

A premature baby mistakenly pronounced dead upon birth at a hospital in Coahuila last Wednesday died on Sunday at the same hospital.

Born at the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) No.16 General Hospital in Torreón to a mother who was 23 weeks pregnant, Jesús Sebastián was taken to the hospital morgue after what doctors believed was a stillbirth.

The baby’s mother, Daniela Hernández, told doctors that she had seen her son move but they told her that it was only a reflex movement of an already-deceased infant.

According to a report by the news magazine Proceso, family members signed a death certificate but later insisted on seeing Jesús Sebastián to verify that he was in fact dead. Morgue personnel subsequently realized that the baby was breathing and proceeded to save him.

He was reported stable late last week but passed away late on Sunday. Jesús Jasso, a lawyer for the family, said that medical reports indicated the four-day-old baby had suffered two heart attacks.

The family has filed a complaint against IMSS with Coahuila authorities, who will be responsible for carrying out an investigation. IMSS said it was carrying out its own investigation into the case of apparent medical negligence.

“All those involved … will be summoned by the [hospital’s] labor relations area, their conduct will be reviewed and sanctions will be issued if irregularities are found,” it said.

Jasso said it appeared there was no similar precedent in the state of Coahuila. He said that medical personnel present at the birth could face charges of medical negligence or even homicide.

The Coahuila Human Rights Commission announced that it would also launch an investigation, even though it hasn’t received any complaint from the family.

“We regret the suffering the family of the minor went though; … accompanying the family [during this difficult time] is one of the first actions [we will undertake] and we’ve opened a preliminary investigation,” said commission head Hugo Morales.

With reports from Proceso and Milenio 

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