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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Newborn dies after antibiotic injection in India

India, New Delhi: A newborn died and at least four others were in critical condition at Lok Nayak Hospital after they were allegedly administered wrong concentration of antibiotics on Sunday.
Sources said all the babies, less than a-month-old, developed some breathing problem and started turning blue due to lack of oxygen soon after the injection was administered.

Dr J C Passey, Lok Nayak hospital's medical superintendent (MS), told TOI that the newborn who died had serious infection. "The infection led to the death and not adverse reaction. We have already conducted a preliminary inquiry into the matter and further investigation is being carried out by the nursing superintendent," Passey said.

The other four babies were shifted to the neonatal ICU after they were observed to have a breathing problem, within hours of the antibiotic being administered. Doctors said while one of them is still in ICU-on ventilator support-the other three have recovered well. Sources said that the Lok Nayak MS was called to the health department to brief about the incident.

According to Dr Sidharth Ramji, who heads the neonatology unit at the hospital, they have about 40 newborns in the nursery at any given time. Of this, some have serious infections for which antibiotics have to be administered, he added. The newborns who developed adverse reaction were injected with Amikacin, a high-end antibiotic for serious infection, is safe to use, the doctor clarified.

"All the five babies were admitted to the newborn nursery and were being administered same antibiotics through injections for the past five-six days. It is possible that there was some mistake in mixing the drug, available in powder form, with saline water, leading to the adverse reaction," Ramji said.

He said all other newborns in the nursery were doing fine. "A team of neonatologists is constantly monitoring their vitals," said one of them.

Experts say India has a very high number of neonatal deaths in the world. According to government data, the number of neonatal deaths-children dying within the first 29 days of life-in the capital was 3,455 deaths in 2003 and it increased to 5,687 in 2013. The number of infant deaths (children who die before turning a-year-old) in the capital has also gone up over the past decade despite technological advancement. "There is an urgent need to maintain institutions where deliveries take place and equip them with adequate manpower to reduce mortality," said a doctor.

Published under News.
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