As many as nine infants, including five referred from other public hospitals in critical condition, have died at the Government Civil Hospital here in a single day, official sources said.
The newborns breathed their last on Saturday at Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
Five of them had been shifted from Civil Hospitals in Lunawada in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district, Surendranagar district town, Mansa in Gandhinagar district, Viramgam in Ahmedabad district and Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district hospitals in the state, while four were born here.
The rest four, who succumbed at the Ahmedabad hospital were all underweight, just like the five from other towns, according to M.M. Prabhakar, Medical Superintendent of Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad.
He said the newborns were referred to Ahmedabad in a critical condition and this should not have happened.
“The infant who was brought from Lunawada Civil Hospital weighed only 1.1 kg with extreme preterm. The place is 130 km from here, the patient could have been taken to any other government hospital in the vicinity,” he asserted.
“Similarly, the patient referred from Viramgam was first taken to two private hospitals in Viramgam and Chandkheda in Ahmedabad and then brought here,” Prabhakar said.
He claimed the infants were sent to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad only when their condition deteriorated. “This happens often,” he bemoaned.
Denying reports the children died due to absence of doctors, he told reporters on Saturday all doctors and nurses were on duty at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which has 100 beds.
The five newborns from outside Ahmedabad were brought with critical conditions such as severe birth asphyxia, extreme preterm with birth weight 1.1 g (usual 2.5 kg), hyaline membrane disease and septicemia.
Three of the infants born in Ahmedabad had severe birth asphyxia while one had meconium aspiration syndrome.