The Puebla hospital where a newborn was mistakenly pronounced dead. The Puebla hospital where a newborn was mistakenly pronounced dead.

Baby that had been pronounced dead found alive in morgue refrigerator

Funeral home staff found the child crying

A newborn baby declared dead was found alive by funeral home employees after the infant spent six hours in a morgue refrigerator. 

The baby was born prematurely on October 21 after just 23 weeks of gestation at the General Hospital La Margarita in the city of Puebla.

Medical staff at the hospital told the parents that the baby had died and the child was sent to the morgue at 4 a.m. where he remained in refrigeration while the parents filled out paperwork and hired a funeral home to retrieve his body.

When the funeral home’s driver arrived at 10 a.m., he noticed the child was crying and moving. 

“When we got to remove the body, we noticed that it began to cry and move; the social worker even got upset when we told her he was alive because she said ‘What’s wrong, don’t be liars’ and things like that, So we told the father to approach and he also saw that the baby was crying,” said the owner of the funeral home.

In a video, the baby can be seen wrapped in a blue sheet and whimpering as his father looks on.  

“Here I am; I’m your daddy (…) hold on, my love,” he says while filming the child with his cell phone. 

“The protocols for the extreme premature newborn were applied, but he did not present vital signs, so death was certified. He was transferred to the mortuary area,” the hospital said in a statement.

“Upon delivering the body to the relative, the medical and funeral home staff realized that the baby was alive. He immediately received supportive medical care and was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit,” the statement continued. 

“The institutional authorities are in constant communication with the minor’s parents to offer them care and the necessary support, as well as timely information on his health status.”

The hospital announced two parallel investigations into the incident, one looking into the facts of the case and another carried out by the state’s Social Security Institute ethics committee.

Puebla Governor Luis Miguel Barbosa announced his intention to file criminal complaints against those responsible for erroneously declaring the child dead, commenting that if doctors do not have “the emotional tranquility to care for such a child and cannot differentiate between whether he is alive or dead, they should ask for a vacation or quit working.”

Source: El Universal (sp)

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