Baby dies as oxygen equipment fails

2014-05-31 19:58

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Johannesburg - A newborn baby died at a clinic as a result of non-functioning machinery at the Itireleng Clinic in Dobsonville, trade union Denosa said on Saturday.

"This is the fourth incident this week in just four days where other babies were delivered outside the clinic premises," said Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) spokesperson Simphiwe Gada.

"The conditions at the clinic are dangerous and lives are in extreme danger."

The baby died moments after it was born on Friday.

Gada said the baby had a low Apgar score and needed an oxygen machine to keep it breathing.

"The machine is faulty, and it was also discovered that the electricity plugs were not working," Gada said.

"The generator did not have diesel either. The clinic lacks necessary machinery to deliver and care for newborn babies."

The Apgar score is a first test given to a newborn, and takes place immediately after the baby is born.

Gada said at least four babies were born outside the clinic premises in a space of a week because of the lack of necessary tools in the clinic.

He said the Dobsonville community would blame the staff and accuse them of negligence while it was not the nurses' fault.

The union has met with department officials since last week. The officials walked out of the last meeting held on Friday, he said.

"As the union, we will assist the young mother who has just lost her baby in taking further steps against the Gauteng department of health," Gada said.

"We will [take the] stand as witnesses as the incident occurred in front of our eyes."

Comment could not be obtained from department's spokesman Simon Zwane.

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