Post-mortem report confirms 3-month-old girl was battered

The final post-mortem report of the three-month-old girl who was admitted to KEM hospital and died on Monday confirmed she had been battered, doctors said on Wednesday. The baby had suffered severe head injuries.

"After examining clinical and other findings, the cause of Ahuti Joshi's death was found to be head injury caused by a heavy object. She had multiple fractures on both sides of the skull, brain injury and rib fracture. All these are non-accidental injuries and this is a typical case of battered baby syndrome," said Dr Harish Pathak, head, forensic department, KEM Hospital.

Initially, the cause of death was reserved until the histopathological examination but it was not required, doctors said.

Doctors ruled out any another possibility for the injuries. "The police asked us whether the injuries were possible due to an accidental fall. If that were the case, the child would have injured her head only on one side and not both. They also asked if the child's condition could be the result of complications due to her premature birth. But it has nothing to do with that. She had all signs of a battered baby," said Pathak. The findings have been handed over to Borivali (West) police for investigation.

Ahuti was admitted to KEM on September 24 by her parents Kalpesh and Dharmishtha. "She was brought unconscious with swelling on the head and a black eye. We did a CT scan that showed she had multiple skull fracture. We put her on ventilator, gave her multiple blood transfusions and kept her in intensive care," said Dr Mukesh Agarwal, head, paediatrics, KEM.

Doctors said the parents could not give any plausible explanation for the injuries. "They have not given any history of trauma or fall. All they said was the patient had fever for six or seven days and had been unconscious for a day," said Dr Agarwal. The parents underwent examination by the hospital's psychiatry department but were uncooperative, doctors said.

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