CHINA> Regional
Xi'an hospital blamed for death of 8 infants
By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-09-29 08:45

XI'AN: Two hospital chiefs responsible for an infection scandal, which caused the death of eight newborn babies in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, were sacked Sunday, authorities said.

Xi'an Jiaotong University, which owns the No 1 Hospital attached to the medical college of the university, said yesterday that Ma Aiqun, director of the hospital and his deputy in charge of medical affairs Lu Yi were sacked.

From Aug 28 to Sep 16, the newborn department of No 1 Hospital received 94 infants, of which eight died.

The hospital did not report it to the provincial public health authorities until Sep 23.

When it came to know about it, the Ministry of Health and the provincial health department conducted a joint investigation and concluded that hospital infection had caused the deaths.

Calling it "extremely serious", Liu Shaoming, director of the provincial public health administrative bureau, said all medical organs in the province would be checked to ensure that such accidents do not recur.

On Thursday, Xi'an Jiaotong University decided to punish nine hospital officials, doctors and nurses responsible, He Dalin, the hospital's spokesman and deputy director, said.

"Those who were directly responsible, such as Liu Li, director of the newborn department, and Guo Xi'e, that department's head nurse, were removed from their posts," He said.

Five directors of the departments concerned in the hospital were also removed from office while senior doctors and nurses in the newborn department were ordered to stop work, the spokesman said. He added that the eight victims were all born prematurely and were in critical condition.

The neonatal wards in the hospital have been closed for further investigation.