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Bengal government orders inquiry into crib deaths

Kolkata, May 24 - In the wake of frequent deaths of infants in government-run hospitals in the state, the West Bengal health department has directed all sub-divisional, district hospitals and medical colleges to conduct in-house probes if more than three babies die in a day.

Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya Wednesday said the directive has been issued to ensure there is no negligence by hospital authorities in providing treatment to new-borns.

"It is not possible for doctors and hospital to prevent each and every infant death when children are born with low birth weight. However, the directive is to ensure that all infant deaths are taken seriously and there is no scope for any negligence," Bhattacharya said.

The chief medical officer of health (CMOH) has been requested to constitute a four-member committee, said the directive issued by the health department. The committee will include one paediatrician, one gynaecologist from the facility (other than those under whom the patient was admitted), a member of nursing facility, and a representative of the CMOH.

The directive comes following a recommendation by a high-level task force constituted after a series of crib deaths in government-run hospitals in the state.


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