Doctor under fire after baby born ‘without face’

A doctor already under investigation for failing to detect birth anomalies is back in the news this month after one his patients gave birth to a baby without a face.

Little Rodrigo was born on October 7, “with no eyes, no nose and part of his cranium missing”, writes tabloid Correio da Manhã.

His mother Marlene had complied with all necessary pregnancy exams – including three ecographies at the Ecosado clinic – “without being alerted to any possible malformations”.

Says the paper, she even underwent a further 5D ecography “at another clinic”. When that test raised the alert that the baby she was carrying had possible malformations, the obstetrician at Ecosado “said everything was fine”.

Rodrigo’s ‘complications’ thus only came clear when he was born 10 days ago.

At that point, doctors told his shocked parents and family members that he would only last a few hours.

Says CM, today he is 10 days old.

The little boy’s parents have filed a complaint against their obstetrician, accusing him of ‘gross negligence’.

The doctor, already reportedly the subject of four separate inquiries initiated by the doctors association – one of them, dating back to 2011, had “identical circumstances” but ended up being archived – has stressed that he did not detect any alterations in ante-natal exams.

“The labour ward was in a state of shock” after the birth, he told the paper.

The Hospital de São Bernardo where Rodrigo was born has since opened an internal inquiry. The obstetrician works at the hospital as well as giving consultations at the Ecosado clinic.

Mother Marlene’s sister Tânia Contente meantime has told the paper that she has heard of “tens of accounts of negligence by the doctor. All the health professionals at the hospital know of various situations. None of them want to talk though because they are frightened”.

On Monday, Rodrigo’s parents are reported to have taken their baby to Lisbon’s children’s hospital (Dona Estefânia) “in the hope of a miracle”.

Neuropediatricians however apparently told them there is nothing that can be done. “The lesions to his brain are very serious”, Tânia Contente explained.

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