AHMEDABAD: Nine newborns have died at the civil hospital here since Friday midnight, prompting the Gujarat government to order a probe into the circumstances and causes of their death.
Five of the babies were brought here from distant places and suffered from "extremely low birth weight" complications, while some suffered from life-threatening diseases and were in critical condition, the government said in a release on Sunday.
"Of the nine deaths in 24 hours, five babies were referred from distant places -- Lunawada, Surendranagar, Mansa, Viramgam, Himmatnagar -- and were having severe lifethreatening conditions such as extremely low birth weight (around 1.1 kg), hyaline membrane disease, early onset septicaemia and disseminated intra-vascular coagulation," said the release.
Besides, four babies born at the civil hospital "died due to lethal complications such as severe birth asphyxia and meconium aspiration," it said.
A hospital official said 18 children have died in past three days at the facility.
A committee under R K Dixit, deputy director of medical education, will inquire into the circumstances and causes of death, the release said.
"Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today held a meeting in Gandhinagar with senior health officials to take stock of the situation," principal secretary, health and family welfare department, Jayanti Ravi said.
She said the condition of some of the babies had deteriorated and they had to be referred to the civil hospital here from distant places as doctors there might still be on Diwali vacation.
The committee will look at the prima facie reasons for the deaths and is expected to submit its report in a day, she said.
The government, in the release, said, "Extremely low birth weight deliveries continue to be a challenge in Gujarat in view of suboptimal nutritional status of pregnant women."
The average number of deaths of newborns in the Ahmedabad civil hospital is around five to six per day, the release added.