Suraya Begum lost her new-born baby on a freezing Thursday night in Srinagar outside the valley's biggest maternity ward, Lala Ded Hospital, allegedly after the doctors refused to admit her when she developed the excruciating labour pain.
Although the J&K government has called for a probe into the matter and asked the Principal/Dean of Government Medical College, Srinagar to submit a report within two days, there is a likelihood that the baby developed hypothermia which led to his death. The baby died under the open sky on the night of January 17 when the temperatures were recorded at -0.7 degrees Celcius.
Hypothermia is a medical emergency wherein babies lose heat faster than they produce it, leading to an abnormal drop in temperature and could also lead to death. Hence he new-born babies are kept in a comparatively higher-temperature environment so that they could retain heat.
"With babies, the risk of losing body heat is higher than in adults because heir skin is still thin and the per unit body surface area in babies is more than bigger children , hence it is advisable to keep them warm at the time of birth," Dr Ishfaq a Srinagar based medico told the International Business Times, India.
Suraya, hailing from the Mooree area of the border district Kupwara in North Kashmir, developed labour pain at her home while the area was still under 3-feet snow. Her family walked for at least six hours in the snow carrying the pregnant lady on a charpoy to the nearby medical facility which was 14 kilometres away, the Indian Express reported.
Suraya's family said that she was referred to Srinagar's LD Hospital where the doctors kept her under observation for several hours and later refused to admit her. She went on to deliver her baby outside the hospital and subsequently the newborn passed away.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan said that the incident will be thoroughly enquired and strict action will be taken against negligent doctors.