Baby deaths ‘due to prematurity’

2011-07-06 12:44

The cause of death of five babies at Jubilee Hospital in Hammanskraal was prematurity while one was pneumonia, according to a clinical report, the Gauteng health department said today.

“The babies were high risk cases with a birth weight less than 800g and one baby had hyaline membrane disease which causes breathing problems,” the department said in a statement.

The report was conducted by a team of experts comprising paediatricians, gynaecologists, nurses and obstetricians.

According to reports last month, the five babies at Jubilee Hospital were allegedly not put into incubators and could not keep warm.

A hospital source told the Star newspaper that four of the hospital’s six incubators were broken, while the remaining two were faulty and did not regulate heat properly.

Two babies died on Monday, June 20, two more died on Tuesday and the fifth one died early on Wednesday morning.

According to the hospital chief executive Damaria Magaro, post-mortem evidence on the babies indicated that their deaths were not because of mismanagement at the hospital.

The Gauteng department of health today said that in an effort to improve health care, the hospital had since received five new incubators and other neonatal equipment.

The department of infrastructure development had also appointed a service provider to repair the boilers which were faulty so that there would be hot water.

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