Zee Media Bureau
Nagpur: India's first known harlequin baby born to a 23-year-old woman has died on Monday afternoon after struggling for her life for two days in a Nagpur hospital.
The baby girl weighing about 1.28kg was born with a severe genetic disorder, harlequin Ichthyosis, in which the baby's body was covered with thick plates of hardened, cracked skin and her internal organs visible.
The baby, who was born prematurely by a C-section delivery to a farmer couple, developed a breathing problem and was put on venticulator. She has been kept under observation at the privately run Lata Mangeshkar Medical College and Hospital in Nagpur until it passed away on Monday evening.
The overall incidence of harlequin ichthyosis is 1 in 300,000 births.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disorder and constant care is required to moisturise and protect the skin.
Doctors said the survival rate for a harlequin baby is extremely bleak and the babies generally succumb within hours or days of birth. The disorder is associated with a mutation in the gene for the protein ABCA12.