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J&K orders probe into death of two infants in hospital

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, December 17, 2012
First Published: 00:05 IST(17/12/2012) | Last Updated: 00:07 IST(17/12/2012)

Two infants died at the district hospital in Baramulla in north Kashmir, allegedly after the staff did not switch on generators following a power failure.


The hospital has denied the charges levelled by the families of the infants who died on Friday, but the Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday ordered a probe into the alleged negligence.

The infants, one with respiratory problems and the other with septicemia, a life-threatening infection, were under observation in the special newborn care unit.

"Despite our repeated pleas to start the generator, the officials on duty remained unmoved. Both infants died due to the acute hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature)," a local English newspaper quoted Tariq Ahmed, father of one of the infants, as saying. "We saw our babies dying in front of our eyes," Ahmed said.

Health officials refused to accept power failure as the only reason for the infant deaths, but did not comment on starting of generators during the power failure. "There were three neonates under observation in the special unit on Friday. If what the parents say is true, then the third baby, who was more hypothermic than those who died, should not have survived," state health department director Saleem ur Rehman said.

"While one baby died in the hospital, the other, with severe infection, was referred to a children's hospital in Srinagar (about 45 km away)," Rehman said.

"The baby died at Pattan while on way to Srinagar. There is a time gap of two hours between the two deaths. We can't say lack of power was the sole reason for the death," he added.

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