Gujarat govt forms panel to probe infant deaths

Gujarat govt forms panel to probe infant deaths

Gujarat government on Sunday formed a three-member panel led by deputy director of medical education to probe the death of nine infants within 24 hours at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.

"We will immediately initiate steps to overcome any negligence or lacunae found by the panel," Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told mediapersons.

From the look of it, the deaths did not seem to have happened due to lack of medicine or medical facilities, the chief minister noted.

Nine newborns perished in the space of a single day on Saturday at the Civil Hospital, touted to be the biggest facility in the Asian region. Police were deployed at the hospital as the state administration hastened to take charge of the situation.

Four of those infants were delivered at the hospital, while five others were brought from distant places. The newborns suffered "extremely low birth weight" complications, while a few of them were in critical condition due to life-threatening illnesses, a government press release on Sunday said.

"The five babies were referred from distant places - Lunawada, Surendranagar, Mansa, Viramgam, Himmatnagar - and had extremely low birth weight (around 1.1 kg), hyaline membrane disease, early onset septicemia and disseminated intra-vascular coagulation," the release read.

The four babies delivered at the hospital died of severe birth asphyxia and meconium aspiration, it revealed.

A hospital official said 18 infants have died in the last three days at the 100-bed neonatal facility.

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