Turkish hospital in trouble over infant deaths

ISTANBUL – One of the most modern hospitals in Turkey is under intense scrutiny after 27 newborn babies died over a fifteen day period. The Ankara state hospital declared the babies (some of them premature) had infections that can’t be blamed on the hospital, but experts doubt that. The Health Ministry is conducting an investigation.

The hospital has one of the biggest maternity departments in the country: in July 1,840 babies were born there. It specializes in assisting early deliveries and the treatment of premature babies, but according to sources in various Turkish newspapers the management of the hospital leaves a lot to be desired. Allegedly there are too many admissions for the facilities available, resulting in several babies sharing one bed. The delivery rooms were moved temporarily during renovations, which lengthened distances between delivery rooms and maternity rooms, which in turn could have increased risks. A father who lost his four weeks old baby told daily newspaper Radikal that he washed his hands every time he went into the baby room, but never got any special hygiene instructions. He is taking legal action against the hospital.
The hospital will issue a press statement soon, but declared earlier this week that some of the children died of infections not picked up in the hospital Professor Eraksoy, board member of the institute of microbiology and infectious diseases, doubts that: “Babies don’t get infected in the womb, so where else other than in the hospital can they have become infected? We have to find out what exactly happened here”, he was quoted as saying in the daily Radikal.

(written for news agency ANP)

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