Date
24 July 2017
Cleft lips are a common birth defect that is easily corrected, but many mainland Chinese families find it hard to afford the surgery, and babies with the condition are sometimes abandoned. Photo: anes.ucla.edu
Cleft lips are a common birth defect that is easily corrected, but many mainland Chinese families find it hard to afford the surgery, and babies with the condition are sometimes abandoned. Photo: anes.ucla.edu

Shanghai police arrest pair in death of newborn with cleft lip

Police have arrested two people in Shanghai on suspicion of killing a baby born with a cleft lip, BBC News reported Friday.

The two-day-old baby was found dead by doctors at the No. 2 People’s Hospital in Chongming county on Friday last week, the report said, citing the state-run Xinhua news agency.

A doctor and the baby boy’s grandfather, who is accused of injecting the infant with chemicals, were arrested.

Cleft lips are a common birth defect that is easily corrected.

Xinhua said initial investigations indicated the grandfather had killed the baby by injecting him with potassium chloride, a drug that is used to treat potassium deficiency but which can stop the heart when used incorrectly.

The doctor, from the gynecology and obstetrics department, is accused of supplying the drug and telling the grandfather how to use it.

Beam International (Future Smile, in China), one of several charities that carries out free surgery for the condition, told the BBC about one in 600 babies born in mainland China each year have a cleft lip or cleft palate.

Surgery for a cleft lip can cost between 5,000 yuan (US$805) and 7,000 yuan, Shan Li, the charity’s China director, said.

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