VILHENA (RO) – The Public Ministry of the State of Rondônia (MP-RO) opened an investigation on the case of a premature baby who was presumed dead and almost buried alive in Ariquemes, the third largest city in Rondônia, 201 kilometers away from Porto Velho.
The Civil Police was also investigating the surprising episode, which had national repercussions after the family and the funeral director who noticed the child’s vital signs and saved him/her moments before burial.
The Public Ministry informed CENARIUM, through a note, that asked the Civil Police of Ariquemes a copy of the police report and information on “steps that have been taken”. “It also asked the Municipal Health Secretariat to inform whether an administrative procedure was established to investigate the facts”, said the MP of Rondônia, adding that if not, it should be established “relevant procedure for the correct elucidation of the case”.
The child’s mother is an 18-year-old girl who didn’t know she was pregnant until she went to the public health system, feeling strong pains. She sought professional help in an Emergency Care Unit (UPA), last Monday, 27, and was received by a doctor who, according to the Municipal Health Department, noticed the pregnancy, prescribed medicines and ordered exams that would only be ready the next day. For this reason, the young woman, her identity not revealed, returned home, where she gave birth, without knowing what was happening.
The birth occurred around 3am, while the baby’s grandmother was preparing the car to take her daughter to the Municipal Hospital, due to the return of the strong pains. The baby was born prematurely and, according to the MP, contrary to what was reported, the child was born after seven months of gestation, not five.
At the city’s public hospital, the baby was declared dead by the medical staff, who reported not having noticed any vital signs. The death certificate states the cause as ‘stillbirth’, indicating that the child would have already been born lifeless, which the grandmother refuted, claiming that she heard the baby’s first cry soon after the home birth, without medical help.
Miracle’ vs. negligence
The baby was saved from being buried alive thanks to the thoughtful mortician called by the hospital itself to collect the child’s body. He decided to take the baby back to the unit when he noticed a heartbeat and a slight sigh.
The Municipal Health Department of Ariquemes claims that the episode was a “miracle” because, “somehow, the heartbeat returned” after the child was removed dead. For the family, who already suspected that the child was still alive, especially the grandmother, it was, in fact, an episode of medical negligence.
Born with a little more than 1 kg, the baby is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a private hospital and reacts well to treatment, while the mother recovers at home.
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