Twin babies die after being turned away from three Mumbai hospitals

A file on the procurement of more neonatal ventilators for civic hospitals in Mumbai has finally been passed after spending two years collecting dust in the BMC. But it came too late for Vijay Jaiwal, an auto driver who took his premature twins to three different hospitals and was turned away at each one. Admitted to a private nursing hospital after this, the twin girls died within five days.

 Twin babies die after being turned away from three Mumbai hospitals

Infant mortality rate in Mumbai is worse than the national average. Reuters

The report, which appeared in today’s Times of India, says that the Ghatkopar nursing home where the twins were born advised Jaiswal to take the premature babies to hospital which had a neonatal intensive care unit. He went to KEM, Sion and Wadia hospitals, only to be turned away from each because they lacked the intensive care facilities. Jaiswal only got a call from KEM saying that an incubator was available on June 18 – unfortunately for the bereaved father, that was the same day his twins died.

"Those five days were the most difficult for me, to see the health of my children deteriorate and watch them die. Only if I had enough money, they could have been saved," said Jaiswal to the Times of India.

Infant mortality in the city has taken a severe hit because of the lack of facilities.

"KEM being a tertiary care centre, our warmer beds in the NICU are packed to capacity. Some days we even place two babies on one bed," said head of neonatology at KEM Hospital, Dr Ruchi Nanavati to the Times of India.

It was just about a week ago that four wards in the city, which included three in south Mumbai, recorded infant mortality rates which were much below the national average.

The city's infant mortality rate has fallen to 28 from 29.5 in 2011, 33.5 in 2009 and 35 in 2005. This is much lower than the national average of 44 deaths.

Read the full report here.

Updated Date: Jul 17, 2013 18:22:17 IST