Mangaluru : ( DHNS)The government’s expert committee, which looked into the death of four newborns at the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) here last week, has found several lapses in maintenance of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital, Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader has said.
“These lapses do not necessarily pertain to the time when the newborns died. These may have existed for long,” he told reporters after a meeting at the Vikasa Soudha on Wednesday. “As the post-mortem has not been conducted, it will be difficult to determine the exact cause for death.”
The minister, however, refused to disclose more about the report. He said that the committee had not yet submitted the report because it was yet to visit the parents of babies which died at the hospital of suspected infection.
Meanwhile, the hospital has decided to conduct an internal enquiry into the deaths in an attempt to instil confidence in patients. Dr R Nisarga, chairman, KIMS, said that three nurses had been suspended. They are flooring in-charge Nirmala and NICU staffer—Sakamma and Shobha.
While one of them reported late for work when the incident took place, two others had failed to immediately inform the nursing superintendent about the death of the newborns. The hospital also served notices on 28 doctors and other paramedic staff.
“The doctors have been asked to give a detailed explanation on what happened that day,” Dr Nisarga added. He insisted that had the parents consented to post-mortem, the exact cause of death could have been determined. Meanwhile, the NICU has remained shut since the incident and the hospital has refused to accept high-risk pregnancy cases, according to sources in the hospital.
Four newborns had died at the NICU in just two days earlier this month, triggering panic among parents. Parents suspected that the children had died of infection. The health department then formed the expert committee to look into the deaths and submit a detailed report.