After around 48-hour of struggle by medical experts, India’s first Harlequin baby passed away at Lata Mangeshkar Hospital. The baby girl was suffering from an extremely rare genetic disorder known as Harlequin-type ichthyosis.
The female infant with a severe genetic disorder and near-total missing external body skin, was born in Nagpur in the wee hour of Saturday.
“It’s the first ‘Harlequin Baby’ in the country. The infant is born blind and the chances of her survival are uncertain,” paediatrician Dr Yash A. Banait had said earlier. He was involved in the rare delivery along with obstetrician-gynaecologist Dr Prachi Dixit.
Born around 12.45 a.m. at Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, the first child to a farmer-couple from Wadi, the child was currently in the NICU and being attended by a team of medicos who were conducting a series of tests and investigations on the baby.
The child presents a sad picture with large parts of her body without skin and internal organs visible. Her palms, fingers and toes have barely developed.
There are two reddish swabs in place of her eyes and her nose is just two holes from where she breathes and ears are practically missing on her face.
Dr Yash Banait had said such children have severely cracked skin which makes it difficult to maintain body temperature and they become prone to infections.
Renowned paediatrician Dr Avinash Banait said there was a similar case in Bastar, Chhattisgarh in 2014, but it would not be medically proved. Besides this, there have been only around a dozen-odd such recorded cases in medical history since 1750.
The first such child was born in April 1750 in South Carolina, US, and there are reportedly around a dozen such cases recorded in that country.
One such child Nusrit Shaheen was born in 1984 to a Pakistani woman and four of her children had the same disorder and succumbed at an early age.
Another such male child was born in 2013 to a woman in South Africa and was given a slim survival chance, but lived more.