After struggling for two days survival, India’s first harlequin baby died on Monday afternoon in a Nagpur hospital.
In an extremely rare case, a baby girl, weighing about 1.28kg, with a severe congenital disorder and near-total missing external body skin, was born at a city hospital on Sunday.
In medical parlance, this condition is called Harelquin Ichthyosis.
The infant was born with a congenital disorder, which occurs because of mutation in the genes. The overall incidence of Harlequin Ichthyosis is one in three lakh births.
Harlequin ichthyosis is a very rare severe genetic skin disease, which causes thickening of the stratum corneum of the epidermis. In such cases, the childs whole body is encased in an armour of thick white plates of skin, separated with deep cracks. In addition, the eyes, ears, private parts and the appendages may be abnormally contracted.
The baby, born after a Caesarean operation performed by Dr Dixit, has now been kept under observation as constant care is required to moisturise and protect the skin.
Doctors can now usually recognise common features of the disease through ultrasound and follow up with 3D ultrasound to diagnose the condition.
Ultrasound can reveal abnormal facial features with ectropion, eclabium, short foot length, incurved toes, clenched fists, poor delineation of nostrils, and polyhydramnios.