Argentine hospital blamed after "dead" baby found alive

BUENOS AIRES Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:34am IST

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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - A mother whose newborn baby was found alive in an Argentine morgue 12 hours after being declared dead on Wednesday blamed hospital negligence for the near-fatal mistake.

Doctors told Analia Bouter that her baby was stillborn when she gave birth in Argentina's northern Chaco province on April 3. But when she and her husband pried open the coffin inside the refrigerated morgue, they found the baby breathing.

"We knelt down and thanked God for this miracle," Bouter told reporters. "The doctor always treated the baby as if she were dead ... 15 minutes after my daughter was born, she was already placed in a closed coffin."

The couple named her Luz Milagros - her middle name meaning miracles in Spanish. Officials say the infant, who was born three months premature, is in critical but stable condition.

Five hospital workers involved in the case were suspended, a provincial health official told a news conference on Tuesday, when the baby's story first came to light.

(Reporting by Luis Andres Henao; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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