The deaths of four newborns in the last four days in the BMC-run Savitribai Phule Maternity Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) rocked the state assembly on Thursday.
After the Opposition's criticism and demand for action against the officers responsible, urban development minister Eknath Shinde announced the suspension of a medical officer and also a high-level inquiry in the case. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis claimed there were lapses in functioning of the NICU at the civic hospital.
He said the administration did not pay adequate attention to the proper functioning of the NICU. Other members joined Fadnavis and claimed that the hospital administration, which had informed the parents that the infants died due to some infection, was not able to determine the exact cause of their deaths. Fadnavis claimed that despite fixed deposits of Rs 50,000 crore and adequate health infrastructure, such incidents are reported from BMC-run hospitals across the city.
He demanded the suspension of the concerned medical officer. Shinde admitted that the matter is quite serious and announced the suspension. Meanwhile, Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said all the four infants had been shifted to the civic-run hospital from another hospital and were infected prior to admission.
“All four infants were in septic shock which is a life-threatening condition and all medical support was given, but they didn't respond to the medicines.” “Considering this, we have also collected swap samples of around 25-30 children from all civic-run samples to check the infection spread in them,” he said. A BMC officer, on condition of anonymity, said that a committee under the head of the Sion Hospital neonatal department, has been asked to inquire into the incident.
She said appropriate action will be taken once the report is received by the BMC. The officer explained that 10 out of 20 beds in the hospital NICU are reserved for outside children. Since December 3, seven children had been admitted there. She said they were already weak and no medicine was having an effect. The rate of fatality is 7 per cent, but 10 per cent is acceptable, she added.
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