Doctors detect an infection that could compromise the baby's neurological and kidney function
Luz Milagros Veron is in "very serious" condition, state media reports
The baby was pronounced dead and withstood more than 10 hours in a morgue refrigerator
Health minister: "There was an error of medical protocol. This is about human error"
A premature baby who survived hours in a morgue refrigerator in Argentina was in “very serious” condition after doctors detected an infection, state media reported.
The infection could compromise Luz Milagros Veron’s neurological system and kidney function, the Telam news agency reported Thursday.
The 9-day-old baby was being treated with antibiotics, said Diana Vesco, chief of neonatology at the Perrando Hospital in northeast Argentina, according to the state news agency.
The baby’s survival grabbed global headlines and prompted her parents to give her a new name: Luz Milagros, the Spanish words for light and miracles.
Pronounced dead after her premature birth on April 3, she withstood more than 10 hours in a coffin inside a morgue refrigerator before being found alive.
“Today is the eighth day of my daughter’s resurrection,” the girl’s father, Fabian Veron, told CNN Wednesday.
Every, doctor, nurse and morgue worker who dealt with the baby at the hospital has been suspended as an investigation gets underway, officials said.
“There was an error of medical protocol. This is about human error,” said Francisco Baquero, Chaco province’s health minister, according to Telam.
Provincial officials provided compensation to the family Thursday, Telam reported, including cell phones, an economic subsidy, a motorcycle and transportation assistance.
Earlier this week, the hospital’s director told CNN proper protocol had been followed.
The baby had no vital signs when she was born, hospital director Dr. Jose Luis Meirino told CNN.
The gynecologist on hand didn’t find any signs of life, so he passed the baby to a neonatal doctor who also didn’t find vital signs, Meirino said.
The doctors observed the baby for a while, and only then, pronounced her dead.
Two morgue workers then put her body inside a little wooden coffin and placed it in the morgue.
“Up to that point, there were still no vital signs,” the hospital director said.
That night, mother Analia Boutet insisted on seeing her dead daughter’s body, Veron said.
“They put the coffin on top of a stretcher and we looked for a little crowbar to open it because it was nailed shut,” Veron told a local television station. “It was nailed shut. I put the crowbar in there and started prying. I took a breath and took the lid off.”
Boutet approached the baby’s body, touched her hand, and heard a cry, Veron told CNN.
Veron’s brother-in-law rushed the baby back to the neonatal ward. He clutched her close to his chest for warmth. She felt like an ice-cold bottle against his body, the relative told Veron.
“I can’t explain what happened. Only that God has performed a miracle,” Veron said.
Meirino said it was the first time he had witnessed an incident like this, but that a nearly identical thing happened in Israel in 2008.
In that case, a baby was found alive in a morgue refrigerator after having been declared dead.
Some doctors at the time said that it was possible that the low temperatures inside the refrigerator had slowed down the baby’s metabolism and helped her survive. However, that baby later died.
CNN’s Mariano Castillo, Rafael Romo and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.