The Gosha hospital in India witnessed a rare occurrence on Sunday with a woman delivering a stillborn child shaped like a fish.
Doctors at the hospital performed a surgery on Sunday morning and removed the 1.8 kg baby.
The body of the baby has been preserved and will be sent for research at medical colleges with permission from officials in Hyderabad, according to the hospital superintendent, BV Ravi Chandra.
“We have preserved the dead baby in the hospital and plan to send it to a medical college to help medical students with prior permission from their higher ups at Hyderabad,” said Chandra.
“We want to send the mermaid baby to either Andhra Medical Collegeat Visakhapatnam city or Maharaja Institute of Medical Sciences at Nellimarla in Vizianagaram district for research. However, we can’t do anything without permission from higher ups,” he added.
Chandra informed that the baby’s body was fishlike probably because of genetic abnormality or maternal diabetes. The condition, which happens in one case out of one lakh babies, is known as Sirenomelia in which the lower limbs are developed but fused. The genitals of the baby were also not developed, said Chandra.
Satyavathi, a resident of Sunkara Veedhi in Vizianagaram town, is from an economically poor background and was brought to the hospital early on Sunday with labour pains, though the date on which the baby was expected to be born was one month and 10 days away. Doctors at the hospital tried to check the condition of the baby through scanning, but could not. The doctors then operated for 20 to 30 minutes and removed the stillborn baby from the woman.
“The woman might have not taken enough protein and also may have failed to regularly check the baby’s condition. Sometimes, delay in attending regular check-ups can also lead to improper growth of the baby inside the womb,” said one of the doctors who had performed the surgery.
Dr G Shakunthala, a senior gynaecologist and former principal of SV Medical College in Tirupathi, said that pregnant women should go for regular check-ups to avoid delivering abnormal babies, the chance of which is higher in first-time carriers and unhealthy women.