Four premature babies who were announced dead on Monday at a hospital in northern Vietnam died of respiratory failure, septic shock and multiple organ failure, a health official has said.
The newborns were each admitted to the Hospital of Obstetrics and Pediatrics in Bac Ninh Province between November 12 and 16 to receive neonatal intensive care following their premature arrivals.
The ‘preemies,' born between the 32nd and 35th week of pregnancy, had all weighed less than 2.3 kilograms.
Tragically, one after another they were announced dead between 2:00 am and 9:30 am on Monday morning, while receiving neonatal treatment at the hospital.
Two of the babies remained in intensive care until being pronounced dead, while the other two had been discharged two days earlier thanks to improved health, according to Nguyen Duc Vinh, an official from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.
Initial reports reveal that all four had suffered from respiratory failure, septic shock and multiple-organ failure prior to their deaths, Vinh said.
The health ministry has demanded that the hospital review its infection control procedures as well as examine microbiological cultures in its incubators to identify the cause of the tragedy.
The ministry has also requested the sealing of all medical equipment and medicines used on the four newborns for an investigation to be carried out.
“We are doing our best to provide the hospital with professional support,” Vinh added.
The hospital’s doctors have raised the suspicions of the victims' families and local media by avoiding questions related to the deaths.
Nguyen Minh Hiep, the hospital’s deputy director, stunned reporters on Monday afternoon when he answered only one question at a press conference before abruptly leaving.
Attempts by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper to obtain information from To Mai Hoa, director of the Bac Ninh Department of Health, were also in vain.
Prior to the tragedy, on November 17, the Hospital of Obstetrics and Pediatrics in Bac Ninh had suspended two doctors and three nurses involved in the death of a two-month-old baby, who had died after receiving an antibiotic shot at the hospital.