Four-member investigation team to probe incident, as families claim doctors’ negligence is to blame.
Seven infants died under mysterious circumstances at a District Headquarters Hospital in the Vehari district of Punjab province, according to hospital administrators.
“Fourteen newborns had been admitted to the ICU of the labor room and were placed on incubators due to breathing problems,” said Dr. Aziz Ahmad. “Seven of the 14 died in early morning while the remaining seven are currently critical,” he added.
Ahmad said it was too soon to say what had caused the deaths. “These could be natural deaths because infants with breathing problems seldom survive,” he claimed. However, the families of the deceased infants claim the hospital staff’s negligence is to blame.
Mushtaq Shah, the father of one of the deceased, told Newsweek via phone that the infants had died due to lack of oxygen. He alleged that the oxygen tanks connected to the incubators had emptied in the morning and had not been replaced. “I, and the other families, rushed toward the staff room to wake the staff and inform them when we noticed the problem,” he claimed. “But we were unable to find any help as the staff members refused to listen to us,” he said, adding that several staff members were asleep when the families tried to inform them. “The doctors are other staff members showed up after the seven babies had already died,” he said.
Following the deaths, the families of the deceased protested against the staff’s alleged negligence and demanded action against the hospital administration. In response, the provincial health department of Punjab has announced that a four-member investigation team has been formed to probe the issue.
In a statement, the department said: “Biomedical Engineer Mazhar Mehmood will be the team leader that will conduct a brief inquiry and submit its report within 24 hours.”