A baby boy who had been declared dead by the Anhui Provincial Children’s Hospital in China, was found alive after the child cried, just as he was about to be cremated. The crematory explained that the so-called “dead baby” came with a death certificate—the baby would have been cremated had the staff not heard his cries.
According to Department of Health of Anhui Province, it received a report on Nov. 20 that Anhui Provincial Children’s Hospital had mistakenly sent an abandoned baby to the crematory at Hefei City. Immediately, a meeting was called by the health department, and a team was dispatched to the hospital to investigate. The following morning the health department confirmed that the whole incident was a serious case of misdiagnosis, and there would be very severe consequences.
The investigation detailed that on Oct. 28, a male baby born 19 days earlier was admitted by the provincial children’s hospital. Immediately after admission, the baby was diagnosed with neonatal pneumonia, bilateral congenital choanal atresia and brain damage associated with preterm birth.
While in the hospital, the parents of the baby had sought medical advice from experts in Shanghai, and the experts said that even surgery could not cure the medical complications associated with the preterm birth.
On Nov. 12, the parents asked for the baby to be discharged. After signing the papers, the parents abandoned the child at the hospital. The abandoned baby continued to receive treatment at the hospital, but the condition of the baby took a turn for the worse on Nov. 18. The baby was subsequently declared dead after failed resuscitation efforts.
Five days later, the hospital sent the dead baby to the crematory at Hefei City. The staff at the crematory found that the child was still alive and called the hospital. The baby is currently in intensive care, suffering respiratory difficulties and an irregular heartbeat.
The medical license of the primary doctor was revoked and administrative punishments were handed out the people in charge at the division of neonatology of the provincial hospital.
Translated by Frank Fang. Written in English by Christine Ford.