GUWAHATI: Dispur on Friday sent a team of medical experts to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) following the reported death of 16 newborns in the hospital since last week.
The team headed by the Director of Medical Education Dr Anup Kumar Barman will probe cause and circumstances that led to death of the newborns at JMCH. The other members of the team are UNICEF expert Sreedhar and senior doctor of Paediatrics department of Gauhati Medical College & Hospital Dr Rita Das.
Infants born in between November 1 and 6 died in the JMCH. A doctor at Paediatrics department of JMCH said some mothers had arrived very late in the hospital just before delivery. Few babies were born with very poor health condition. Congenial diseases can be attributed to death of few other babies, he said.
The doctor said there was a manpower crisis in the JMCH as 84 newborns had to be admitted in the paediatrics unit of the hospital whose capacity was only 40.
“The team rushed to JMCH will find out the exact causes of death of the newborns. No one responsible for such deaths will be spared. Punitive actions will be taken against doctors and nurses if they are found guilty of negligence towards their duties,” a health department official said. The JMCH has also constituted an inquiry committee to probe the tragic incident.
A retired doctor of Paediatrics department of GMCH said infections and birth asphyxia might be the prime reasons for deaths of the newborns. He said birth asphyxia happens when a baby’s brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients before, during or right after birth. “Some might have born in pre-mature and critical condition,” he said.
Locals and parents of the some of the dead newborns alleged neglect by the doctors at JMCH.
Even though Assam is still struggling to reduce its high Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) owing to various reasons, the State health department officials said the IMR is fast declining.
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