Sun, Jun 08, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Hospital in Manila closes unit after 25 babies die: report

AFP , MANILA

A Manila hospital has closed its neonatal intensive care unit and an investigation ordered after 25 babies died of a blood infection, it was reported yesterday.

Local authorities ordered the Ospital ng Makati to close the unit after 45 babies contacted neonatal sepsis last month.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer said the Department of Health had launched an investigation while the city’s mayor, Jejomar Binay, has asked for a report on the deaths by tomorrow.

The unit was being sterilized yesterday and the number of women giving birth in the public hospital restricted.

BLOOD INFECTION

The Inquirer said 45 cases of neonatal sepsis, a blood infection contracted by infants less than 90 days old, were reported at the hospital in May out of 273 deliveries.

Eric Tayag of the department of health’s National Epidemiology Center told the Inquirer that infections could occur if the mother had poor immunity to diseases or did not undergo prenatal checkups.

“Neonatal sepsis could also be caused by unsanitary hospital conditions,” he added.

Tayag said 25 deaths in one month was “alarming.”

The hospital had 16 cases of sepsis in the four months to April, but did not report any deaths.

Two years ago another Manila hospital was forced to close its neonatal unit after seven babies died of sepsis.

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