A high-level team of experts that reached Jorhat Medical College Hospital (JMCH) Saturday morning to look into the deaths of nearly 20 newborn babies at the Special Care Newborn Unit of the hospital since Nov 1 has ruled out any lapse on the part of JMCH authorities and that the infants did not die due to any particular disease. The primary reason for the deaths of the newborns, the expert committee maintained, was primarily due to late admission of the expecting mothers to the hospital.
The team from Guwahati led by Director of Medical Education (DME) Dr Anup Barman, an official of UNESCO and a paeditrician from Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) reached JMCH today and was joined by Dr Rita Bora from the Assam Medical College & Hospital (AMCH). They held talks with JMCH authorities over the deaths of the infants.
Dr Barman, meanwhile, dismissed accusations of lapses and medical neglicence on the part of hospital staff and reiterated that late admission of the expecting mothers to the hospital who also had little medical supervision prior to their delivery seemed the main reason for the deaths.
Incidentally, the enquiry committee formed by JMCH authorities also stated that the deaths were due to “late reporting” by the pregnant women to the hospital who also did not have records of pre-natal check-ups at Jorhat Medical College Hospital or any other hospitals while adding that they were referred to JMCH in “critical condition in final stage of delivery”.
The six-member committee, it may be mentioned, was headed by Professor Pranabjit Biswanath, (HoD) Paediatrics of JMCH.