A day after nine newborns reportedly died at Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital, hospital authorities on Sunday formed a committee to look into the deaths of 18 infants who died in the last few days. Nine of these deaths were reported on October 28 after 12 am.
Civil Hospital Superintendent Dr MM Prabhakar said: “Nine babies were referred from distant places in Gujarat – Lunawada, Surendranagar, Mansa, Viramgam, Himmatnagar — and were having severe life-threatening conditions such as extremely low birth weight of around 1.1 kg (normal average birth weight is 2.5 kg), Hyaline Membrane Disease, Early onset septicaemia, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, etc.
“The 4 babies born at Civil Hospital died due to lethal complications such as severe birth asphyxia, meconium aspiration, etc.”
Infants who are underweight at birth continues to be a challenge in Gujarat in light of the suboptimal nutritional status of pregnant women, he said.
Disclosing that the average number of deaths of newborns in Ahmedabad Civil hospital is around 5 to 6 deaths per day, Prabhakar said the nine deaths were only slightly more than the average.
He, however, defended the hospital record saying that all high-risk delivery cases and infants born with complications are referred from peripheral centres, both govt and private, to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.
“The referrals from peripheral centres have been higher in these days since many of the doctors and hospitals in periphery especially private sector are not available / closed due to Post Diwali holidays phase,” Prabhakar said.
BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya also issued an identical statement saying referral cases has gone up due to the non-availability of doctors.
The committee is constituted under Dr R K Dixit, Deputy Director, Medical Education includes senior doctors from paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology from other medical college hospitals. They will inquire into the circumstances and causes of death, and suggest measures for improvement. The committee will submit its report soon.