A Puebla infant that doctors had declared dead at birth but was later found alive in a morgue refrigerator died Friday after spending the last five weeks of his life in a neonatal intensive care unit.
His parents, Santiago Albino and his wife, Elisa, who laid their son Lazarito to rest on Saturday in Tlatlauquitepec, have filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission, which has begun investigating the city of Puebla’s La Margarita hospital — the IMSS hospital where Lazarito was born — for medical negligence.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of what actually happened with regard to Lazarito’s birth,” the parents said in a statement.
Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa has also requested that federal and state prosecutors investigate the case.
Santiago Albino accused the hospital, where his son was born on October 21, of negligence.
“I hold the doctors that attended to [my wife] directly responsible,” he said. “They left Elisa alone for 15–20 minutes at a time and they walked by her looking at their cell phones without attending to her even when they could hear my wife screaming with childbirth pains.”
IMSS officials stated that the 23-week-old newborn had been declared dead after assessing him according to established medical protocols for extremely premature newborns. He had shown no vital signs, they said.
The hospital had the baby’s father sign a death certificate and transported Lazarito to the morgue, where he remained in a storage refrigerator until Albino and family members arrived to pick up the body for burial. While verifying the child’s identity, morgue staff realized he was alive, Albino told the newspaper El Universal in October.
Immediately following the discovery Lazarito was transferred back to the neonatal intensive care unit at La Margarita Hospital, where doctors said from the beginning that they could not guarantee his survival.
Source: El Universal (sp)