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At least 30 babies die in Gauteng in May - at least 6 from Norovirus

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  • At least 30 babies die in Gauteng in May - at least 6 from Norovirus

    http://www.newstime.co.za/Health/Hea...e_Maxeke/5557/

    The investigation into the deaths of six babies due to diarrhea at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital are still ongoing.

    It has been announced that the health department is one step closer to reaching a conclusion.

    CEO Barney Selebano announced Thursday that the virus that the babies contracted is norovirus, a type of community-acquired virus that causes stomach bugs. Selebano went on to explain that they picked it up via human movement in the hospital.

    "People walk all around the hospital and encounter other diseases, and then come back into the neonatal ward," he said.

    He went on explain the conditions under which the babies contracted the virus.

    All the babies in the neonatal ward were born prematurely and weigh less than 1kg. At the time of the infection, there were about 50 babies in the ward.”

    The regulations permit 35 babies in the area.


    He also added that the hospital had saved all the other babies in the ward and no new infections had been detected. "There are always infections in a hospital, but this one has been contained."

    Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said the investigation into the babies' deaths would be concluded by the end of the month.

    He also added that the deaths of 30 babies in the Natalspruit area between the 9th to the 18th May were completely unrelated to the virus that recently hit Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.

    An Investigation into those deaths is also underway.

  • #2
    Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

    http://www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=1143811

    Hospitals of death - 11 more babies die at government facilities
    21 May 2010
    Zinhle Mapumulo


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------






    Related Content
    ■40 infants moved to a safer ward



    The Gauteng health department was yesterday reeling after it learnt that 11 babies died on the same day – May 11 – at Natalspruit Hospital on the East Rand.



    This revelation came two days after the death of five babies at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The sixth one died on Wednesday.
    The premature babies died after contracting diarrhoea.

    The latest deaths bring to 17 the number of babies to have died in Gauteng hospitals in a week.
    Though provincial health officials were adamant that the Natalspruit babies had not died after contracting diarrhoea – like the other six at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital – the deaths have raised questions about the state of neo- natal wards in public health facilities around Gauteng.
    MEC Qedani Mahlangu admitted that the death of 11 children in one facility on the same day was cause for concern.
    She said it was not true that the babies also had diarrhoea.
    I have been told by the hospital that the deaths were unavoidable. Four of the babies were macerated stillbirths, three were fresh stillbirths. The other four died after birth,” Mahlangu said.




    Natalspruit chief executive Sefularo Gaelegwe did not report the deaths to the department. Sources said the shocking revelation was only made on Wednesday after 702 Talk Radio aired a story of a mother whose three-month-old baby had died in the queue at the hospital after contracting diarrhoea.
    Mahlangu rejected the claim yesterday, saying that the baby was brought to the hospital in an ambulance at 2.30am and was certified dead on arrival.



    DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said he was shocked by the news.
    “I spoke to the MEC and she explained that some of the deaths were unavoidable. She told me that three cases were being reviewed. Nevertheless, 11 is a huge number. What concerns me is that it took a week before the incident was reported to the department,” Bloom said.

    Asked why it had taken so long for the hospital to report the deaths to the department, Mahlangu said Gaelegwe was also not aware of deaths. The nurses had failed to report to management because they thought the babies were stillborn.
    “We condemn such practices. It was wrong for nurses to keep such information,” Mahlangu said.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

      http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/art...pruit-hospital

      Health MEC details 11 baby deaths at Natalspruit hospital
      May 20, 2010 5:35 PM | By Sapa

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      The Gauteng health department has confirmed the deaths of 11 babies, several of them unborn, at the Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Current Font Size:

      Natalspruit Hospital
      Photograph by: ANTONIO MUCHAVE
      Related Articles
      •Dead babies: Health MEC to be grilled
      However, health MEC Qedani Mahlangu refuted suggestions that the deaths could be linked to an outbreak of diarrhoea at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital, where six babies died.

      He told SABC News "Four of the babies were dead for 48-hours in their mother's wombs by the time they arrived at hospital.

      Mahlangu says: "The next three babies died eight hours before their mothers arrived and the other two were born, but weighed less than 500 grams".

      "They were too small".

      The last two babies were born at normal weight
      .

      Mahlangu said the causes of the deaths would be investigated. The department also refuted earlier media reports that a babydied in its mother's arms while waiting in a queue at the hospital.

      Meanwhile, 35 babies were moved to a new ward at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital on Thursday after it was confirmed that the neo-natal ward was overcrowded.

      There were 50 babies in the ward for premature babies weighing less than one kilogram -- 15 more than the prescribed maximum, Mahlangu told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

      The National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) says it expectx the department to take full responsibility forshoddy management and resourcing of these health facilities.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

        http://promedmail.org/pls/apex/f?p=2..._ID:1000,82843

        Archive Number 20100521.1689
        Published Date 21-MAY-2010
        Subject PRO/EDR> Norovirus, fatal, neonatal unit - South Africa: (Johannesburg)

        NOROVIRUS, FATAL, NEONATAL UNIT - SOUTH AFRICA: (JOHANNESBURG)
        ************************************************** *******
        A ProMED-mail post
        <http://www.promedmail.org>
        ProMED-mail is a program of the
        International Society for Infectious Diseases
        <http://www.isid.org>

        Date: Fri 21 May 2010
        Source: IOL (Independent Online, South Africa), The Star report [edited]
        <http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=rss_Health&set_id=1&click_id=125&ar t_id=vn20100521042756879C403833>


        The diarrhoea that killed 6 babies at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg
        Academic Hospital was caused by a norovirus, a type of
        community-acquired virus [infection] that causes stomach [illness],
        CEO Barney Selebano confirmed yesterday [20 May 2010]. He explained
        that the babies were susceptible to the virus because of their weak
        [undeveloped] immune systems. "Those babies have never been out of
        the hospital," he said.

        All the babies in the neonatal ward were born prematurely and weigh
        less than 1 kg [2.2 lb]. At the time of the infection, there were
        about 50 babies in the ward -- 15 more than the stipulated maximum of 35.

        Selebano said the virus was spread to the babies by human movement in
        the hospital. "People walk all around the hospital and encounter
        other diseases, and then come back into the neonatal ward," he said.
        He added, however, that the hospital had saved all the other babies
        in the ward and no new infections had been detected. "There are
        always infections in a hospital, but this one has been contained."

        Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said the investigation into the
        babies' deaths would be concluded by the end of the month [May 2010].
        Meanwhile, Mahlangu said the deaths of 11 babies at Natalspruit
        Hospital on 11 May 2010 were ascribed to neonatal sepsis, low birth
        weight, prematurity, or stillbirth, and were unrelated to the
        diarrhoea that killed the 6 babies at Charlotte Maxeke
        .

        The Star [newspaper] has established that 30 babies died at
        Natalspruit between 9 and 18 May 2010. At least 3 of the 30 deaths
        are understood to be under investigation
        .

        [Byline: Solly Maphumulo, Kristen van Schie]

        --
        Communicated by:
        HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail
        <promed@promedmail.org>

        [Premature infants in neonatal care units are vulnerable to many
        infections, but norovirus infection has rarely, if ever, been
        reported as a specific cause of death
        . A lapse in infection control
        procedures, as a result of overcrowding, seems likely to be
        responsible for this tragic outbreak.


        Noroviruses are a group of related, single-stranded RNA,
        non-enveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. The
        incubation period for norovirus-associated gastroenteritis in adults
        is usually between 24 and 48 hours (median in outbreaks, 33 to 36
        hours), but cases can occur within 12 hours of exposure. Norovirus
        infection in adults usually presents as acute-onset vomiting, watery
        non-bloody diarrhea with abdominal cramps, and nausea. Low-grade
        fever also occasionally occurs. Diarrhea is more common than vomiting
        in children. Dehydration is the most common complication, especially
        among the young and elderly.

        Noroviruses are transmitted primarily through the fecal-oral route,
        either by consumption of fecally contaminated food or water or by
        direct person-to-person spread. Environmental and fomite
        contamination may also act as a source of infection. Good evidence
        exists for transmission due to aerosolization of vomitus that
        presumably results in droplets contaminating surfaces or entering the
        oral mucosa and being swallowed. No evidence suggests that infection
        occurs through the respiratory system.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

          http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_i...2806115C551204

          Hospital still a death trap
          May 20 2010 at 08:57AM Get IOL on your
          mobile at m.iol.co.za



          Next » 1 2 By Nontobeko Mtshali and Kristen van Schie

          Hygiene measures are still lax at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital's neonatal ward, where six children died after contracting diarrhoea at the weekend.

          Yesterday morning - a day after the deaths of the premature babies - The Star was allowed into the ward after asking to speak to one of the babies' mothers.

          Despite Gauteng Health and Social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu saying stricter hygiene codes would be imposed at the hospital, a reporter was able to walk into the ward where several infants were being treated, without being instructed by nursing staff to wear sterilised aprons or masks, or being asked to wash their hands.
          Continues Below ↓








          Six babies died early on Tuesday, three days after nursing staff became alarmed and began treating them for diarrhoea.

          Hospital staff began moving babies out of the ward at about lunchtime yesterday, and it was only then that access to the unit was restricted by a security guard, who barred everyone, including parents, from entering
          .

          Speaking to The Star, one mother, whose baby is being treated at the unit, said she had been allowed to see her baby for only five minutes. Normally, the mothers can be with their children from 8am to 8pm.

          "They're not telling us what's wrong," said the mother.

          "On Tuesday they said they were investigating (the outbreak), but no one has told us anything. My baby has had diarrhoea since Friday and I still haven't been told how that happened," she said.

          The mother, whose baby was born seven months into the pregnancy, said her baby has been in the ward for a month.

          She didn't want to give her name, saying: "I'm scared they'll do something to my baby."

          The woman, who lives in Berea, Joburg, said she knew of 10 other babies in the ward suffering from diarrhoea. She suspects that the breakout was caused by unwashed milk bottles.

          "Sometimes they clean them, sometimes they don't. Some of the staff do their job nicely and others don't," she claimed.

          The mother said that usually when she goes to see her baby, she has to wash her hands. Yesterday, she was also instructed to wear a gown, something she has never been asked to do before
          .

          When The Star enquired about these allegations, Gauteng Health and Social Development Department spokesman Mandla Sidu said they had to wait for the investigation to be completed before commenting further on the issue.

          Other parents who had gone to see their children also said they didn't know what was happening.

          When they enquired, a nurse said "something" had happened, and they were supposed to "sit, wait and relax".

          The cause of the outbreak is not known, but Mahlangu said her department suspected that an infection brought in from outside - either by visiting mothers or by hospital workers - may have played a role.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

            This is EXTREMELY appalling. These are the hospitals that successfully contained a VHF outbreak in 2008.

            http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/art...t--Baragwanath

            Crisis at Baragwanath
            Hospital blackout, drips inserted by torchlight, because power bill not paid
            May 19, 2010 10:41 PM | By HARRIET McLEA

            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            As parents mourned the death at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital of six babies, 40 infants from the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit were transferred to Soweto's Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.

            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            Current Font Size:


            Photograph by: Martin Rhodes
            Related Articles
            •Power back at Baragwanath
            •Exclusive: Mother tells of baby's death
            •Hospital baby deaths to be investigated
            •Children under siege
            But, by late yesterday, the biggest hospital in Africa was dealing with its own crisis - power cuts because its management had failed to pay the electricity bill.

            The children's ward has had intermittent blackouts for the past three days. Emergency generators did not kick in because the hospital had no diesel left to power them.

            A staff member said some of the paediatric wards had "about half an hour of electricity" in eight hours yesterday.

            On Tuesday night, nurses resorted to "using their cellphone lights to put drips into patients."

            In anticipation of further power cuts last night, the paediatric admissions ward was moved to a spare room in the metabolic unit.

            "It's all right because we can see during the day, but it's not okay at night because we can't examine patients and we can't write notes and we can't put up drips," the staff member said.

            Another staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "We don't know how long this is going to last."

            Patients waiting in queues were warned that it was unlikely that they would be attended to if the power failure persisted. They were advised to go home.

            "We were told today that there would not be power," said the staff member.

            While the paediatric unit dipped in and out of darkness, lights were on in the orthopaedic unit and the neonatal unit.

            But nurses in the neonatal unit have been warned that the hospital will be supplying them with torches because more blackouts were expected.

            Gauteng health and social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said the cuts were due to "cash-flow problems" at the hospital. "Because we were owing a lot of service providers from the end of the last financial year, Treasury said our quota for this financial year is done," she said.

            "That's why the service providers have not been paid."

            Health department spokesman Mandla Sidu confirmed that the hospital had run out of diesel fuel for its generators. - Additional reporting by Sapa

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

              There was a lapse in infection control - Motsoaledi

              Sapa
              24 May 2010
              <!--Article rating:
              -->

              Outbreak that led to death of 17 babies was probably introduced from outside hospital


              <META content=Word.Document name=ProgId><META content="Microsoft Word 12" name=Generator><META content="Microsoft Word 12" name=Originator><LINK href="file:///C:%5CUsers%5CMNTUNG%7E1%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5 Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml" rel=File-List><LINK href="file:///C:%5CUsers%5CMNTUNG%7E1%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5 Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_themedata.thmx" rel=themeData><STYLE></STYLE>JOHANNESBURG (Sapa) - Various factors contributed to the deaths of 17 babies at two Gauteng hospitals this month, a member of the team investigating the deaths said on Monday.

              "This was a complicated outbreak with many factors involved," said Professor Adriano Duse, from the University of Witwatersrand, who is part of the team investigating the deaths.

              "It is very likely that it was introduced from outside the hospital(s)."
              Duse was speaking to media at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital, where six babies died last week.

              He was part of a panel which included Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, and Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

              Eleven babies died at the Natalspruit hospital in Katlehong on Johannesburg's East Rand -- ten on May 11 and one more on May 12.
              Some of the babies displayed symptoms of diarrhoea.

              "We have found and confirmed Norovirus [and] Klebsiella," Duse said. Klebsiella is a deadly bacteria from infected bottles. It claimed the lives of 22 babies at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial hospital in Durban five years ago.

              Norovirus affects people of all ages. The virus is transmitted by faecally contaminated food or water and by person to person contact.

              Duse said the deaths could have been prevented if there were proper infection control personnel, and "with better staff, we may have prevented it".

              Motsoaledi said even though investigations into the deaths were still being conducted, infection control and overcrowding also played a role.

              "... there was definitely a lapse in infection control... infection control cannot happen when there is overcrowding."

              He said the incidents at the two hospitals were related in some way.
              Motsoaledi also pointed out that HIV/Aids was central to the problem.

              "Unless we deal with this problem, it is going to trouble us again," he said, adding that he could not say whether any of the babies had been HIV positive.

              "... and I'm not proposing that the babies who died [were HIV positive], but it's part of the equation."

              The minister confirmed that 20,000 babies a year were stillborn, 22,000 died as newborns, and between 1400 and 1600 mothers died shortly after giving birth.

              "Forty-three percent of these deaths [are linked to] HIV/Aids... this is painful, but not new."

              Fifty-seven percent of children under the age of five die because of HIV, and babies who are HIV positive are 15 times more likely to die.

              "To reduce this number you need to put every child on treatment [no matter what] their CD4 count is."

              Motsoaledi apologised to the country for the deaths.

              "I want to apologise publicly to the country as a whole because of this tragedy... this past week has been traumatic, nobody wants to see babies die... when you see a very small coffin, your emotions can't be controlled."

              Peter Cooper, head of paediatrics at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic hospital, said the first baby who displayed symptoms of the viruses, and who is still alive, was not tested immediately because loose stools were common among newborns.

              "One baby with a few loose stools does not necessarily mean there's an outbreak. Perhaps we could have been a bit more proactive."

              Motsoaledi could not say if the families of the babies would be paid compensation, after the question was asked by Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom at the briefing.

              "I can't get into those issues. I will leave it to relevant persons," Motsoaledi said.

              Bloom responded in a statement saying: "Motsoaledi ducked this question when I asked it at the press conference at the hospital today, but it is an issue that needs to be faced... Money cannot bring back the lives of these babies, but the mothers need to know their rights with regard to any possible compensation."

              Motsoaledi also drew attention to the lack of health care professionals in the country.

              "It's not that we don't want to employ health workers, there simply are no health workers... we had more than a 1000 workers who were poached in the UK alone.

              "It's a matter of which country is stronger with more resources, and, we want to hire doctors... it's not that we don't want to hire."

              Mahlangu said the investigating team had up to May 31 to discover the cause of the deaths.

              "We avoided getting people from Charlotte Maxeke on our team...if they need more time by the 31st, they have to tell us why in order to receive it."

              The investigation would also include a timeline of the deaths.

              http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politic...tingweb+detail
              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
              -Nelson Mandela

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

                Klebsiella in newborns again. We have seen that in Mongolia, Mexico, Egypt, India, Algeria, and more. This seems to be a global issue with "unclean" hospitals, although the actual contamination vehicle is far from clear. Baby bottles and IV's have been suggested in previous outbreaks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Many babies die due to dirty hospitals in Gauteng last week

                  http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/art...t-one-hospital

                  '100 dead babies at just one hospital'
                  May 24, 2010 9:51 PM | By SIPHO MASONDO and NICKI GÜLES

                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  A task team from the Eastern Cape department of health will reveal today how many babies died at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha.


                  It was reported this weekend that more than 100 premature and low-birth-weight babies have died in the institution's neo-natal intensive care unit since January.

                  Yesterday, Eastern Cape health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the number of infants who died had yet to be confirmed, but reports he received varied between 98 and more than 100 deaths.

                  This follows last week's shock deaths of six premature babies in the neo-natal unit of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital from severe diarrhoea, probably caused by the killer klebsiella bacteria
                  .

                  The Times reported yesterday that preliminary laboratory tests confirmed that the bottles used to feed the babies tested positive for the bacteria.

                  Also last week, 11 babies were confirmed to have died at the Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg - 10 babies were lost on May 11 and another on May 12.

                  Yesterday, a senior official in the Eastern Cape health department told The Times that when he visited Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital over the weekend, the ventilators in the neo-natal intensive care unit were switched off because there had been an oxygen leak in the ward. Leaking oxygen poses a severe fire risk.

                  It was not yet clear whether the hospital's lack of ventilators to treat the underdeveloped infants with immature lungs caused some of the babies to die.

                  "The ventilators have not been working. The problem is that they are mounted on the walls and could not be moved and there was an oxygen leak and the entire neo-natal unit now has to operate without ventilators," he said.

                  "I established this when I visited there. There were too many ventilators there, but they had to be shut down once they detected the leak
                  ."

                  Kupelo said a task team consisting of three senior health officials - a senior midwife, a chief director of hospital services and a director of district hospitals - was assembled to conduct a thorough probe into what happened.

                  "What we do know is that some of the babies who died were sick and exposed to HIV as their mothers were not treated with anti-retrovirals to prevent transmission from mother to child," he said.

                  "Many weighed less than 700g. Others died from pneumonia."

                  Kupelo said Nelson Mandela Academic was a referral hospital and some of the babies died while being transferred there from district and rural hospitals around the former Transkei.

                  These include the St Barnabas Hospital in Libode, Port St John's Community Health Centre, St Elizabeth's Hospital in Lusikisiki, St Patrick's Hospital in Bizana, Sipethu Hospital near Tabankulu, and Greenville Hospital in the far east of the province near the KwaZulu-Natal border.

                  Kupelo said Eastern Cape health MEC Pumullo Masualle will hold a media briefing this morning at which the task team's interim findings will be revealed.

                  Yesterday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi apologised to the country for the deaths of the 17 babies at the Natalspruit and Charlotte Maxeke hospitals.

                  "I want to apologise publicly to the country as a whole because of this tragedy," he said.

                  Motsoaledi said infection control and overcrowding played a role in the deaths of the babies at the Gauteng hospitals.

                  "There was definitely a lapse in infection control," he said.

                  He also said HIV and Aids contributed to the situation, saying that though he was "not proposing that the babies who died [were HIV positive], but it's part of the equation". - Additional reporting by Judy Lelliott and Sapa

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in South Africa

                    This isn't all in Gauteng; Eastern Cape is a separate province. But it is the same problem.

                    http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/art...80-baby-deaths

                    Task team uncovers 180 baby deaths
                    Investigation into infant deaths widens
                    May 25, 2010 1:13 AM | By SIPHO MASONDO and NICKI GÜLES

                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    A task team from the Eastern Cape health department will reveal today that more than 180 babies from six hospitals in the former Transkei died in the first four months of this year alone.


                    The majority of the infants — many born premature to teenage mothers and weighing less than 1.5kg—were referred to the neonatal ward of the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha.

                    This was confirmed to The Times last night by Siva Pillay, superintendent-general of health in the province.

                    Pillay ordered the investigation last week after officials reported an ‘‘unusually high’’ number of infant deaths at the hospitals. ‘‘We have a very serious problem and if we don’t sort it out we will have a crisis,’’ he said last night.

                    The revelations follow last week’s shock deaths of six premature babies in the neonatal unit of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital from severe diarrhoea, probably caused by the killer klebsiella bacteria.

                    The Times reported yesterday that preliminary laboratory tests confirmed that the bottles used to feed the babies tested positive for the bacteria.

                    Also last week, 11 babies were confirmed to have died at the Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg — 10 babies were lost on May 11 and another on May 12.

                    Yesterday, a senior official in the Eastern Cape health department told The Times that when he visited Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital over the weekend, the ventilators in the neo-natal intensive care unit were switched off because there had been an oxygen leak in the ward. Leaking oxygen poses a severe fire risk.

                    It was not yet clear whether the hospital’s lack of ventilators to treat the underdeveloped infants with immature lungs caused some of the babies to die.

                    “The ventilators have not been working. The problem is that they are mounted on the walls and could not be moved and there was an oxygen leak and the entire neonatal unit now has to operate without ventilators,” he said.

                    “I established this when I visited there. There were too many ventilators there, but they had to be shut down once they detected the leak.”

                    Last night, Pillay said at least 40% of the dead infants were born to teenage mothers, some of whom were taking medication to deliberately induce premature birth, effectively killing their children.

                    ‘‘They take these tablets hoping that the babies will be born before time,’’ he said.

                    ‘‘Most of the babies are less than 1.5kg and the chances of surviving when they are that size are close to zero
                    .’’

                    More than 50% of the infants were born to HIV-positive mothers, most of whom were not on anti-retrovirals. Nelson Mandela Academic is a referral hospital and some of the babies died while being transferred there from district and rural hospitals in the area.

                    Pillay said the investigation revealed that hospitals in the areas that normally referred cases to Nelson Mandela Academic hospital reported 54 infant deaths in January, 31 in February, 46 in March and 50 in April.

                    The other five hospitals are Mthatha General hospital, St Barnabas hospital in Libode, St Patrick’s hospital in Bizana, Sipetu hospital near Mount Frere and Malizo Mpehle Hospital in Tsolo.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: At least 30 babies die (of several causes?) in Gauteng last week

                      Six dead babies, but no one is to blame
                      Jul 21, 2010 10:40 PM | By KHETHIWE CHELEMU and HARRIET MCLEA


                      After the findings of an investigation into the babies' deaths were released yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, Bridget Keetse, 23, said no one from the provincial health department had contacted her with an explanation.

                      No one has been held responsible for the May deaths of the premature babies in the hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit. According to the investigators, the infants died of diarrhea caused by the Norovirus. But investigators do not know how it got into the ward.

                      "Even if the report came out after I was contacted, the outcome will not bring back my baby," Keetse said at her home in Johannesburg's Alexandra township.

                      Keetse's daughter, her only child, was born on April 26, weighing 900g. She lived for 23 days.

                      The investigators' report was supposed to have been released at the beginning of June.

                      Questions are now being raised as to why the report's release was delayed for so long.

                      The hospital has been cleared of liability by a team of investigators, which include Professor Dankwart Wittenburg, former head of paediatrics at Pretoria's Steve Biko Academic hospital, Professor Sithembiso Velaphi, head of neonatology at Chris Hani Baragwanath, Professor Keith Bolton, head of paediatrics at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, and Professor Yusuf Veriava, a physician at the University of the Witwatersrand.

                      Also on the panel were Dr Lesley Bamford, a paediatrician from the National Department of Health, Cecil Pretorius, an infection control specialist at Steve Biko, Thoko Moloko, a member of the Gauteng nurses managers forum, and Ethel Lesolang, a member of the retired nurses forum.

                      Mahlangu said the report's release was delayed because she had to "analyse the findings" first.

                      But the summary of the report contains several contradictions. Though Mahlangu said no one was negligent, the report states that the Norovirus is spread by contaminated hands, food and water.

                      She said the hospital's response to the outbreak was "adequate", the general level of medicinal care was "good" and the patient records kept by doctors and nurses were "excellent".

                      The report said the onset and progression of the diarrhea was extremely rapid, making it difficult for staff to manage each patient.

                      But a doctor, working in one of the hospital's intensive care units, told The Times yesterday that there had been a shortage of soap and paper towels for days before the news of the babies' deaths hit the headlines.



                      The doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "I sent my ward cleaner to go down to the stock room because we needed soap and we needed hand towels and we couldn't function without them."

                      But the cleaner told the doctor that they had run out.

                      "We have to wash our hands between every patient," the doctor said, adding that "every single ICU didn't have soap and the normal wards had run out of it long before then."

                      "Nobody", the doctor said, was taking note of how dire the situation had become.

                      "The day after the news broke we started getting loads of stock. I saw the boxes being wheeled in. I wanted to take a huge giant roll of paper towel and hide it somewhere in case it happened again!"

                      Shortages of basic equipment was nothing new at the hospital, where they regularly run out of aprons and gloves.

                      When the stock room is empty, staff are merely told: "The bills weren't paid."

                      Mahlangu, however, did blame overcrowding. She said investigators discovered a shortage of roller towels and antiseptic sprays for staff to wash their hands.

                      DA health spokesman Jack Bloom said: "It is astonishing that the hospital was short of basic items such as towels, antiseptic sprays and thermometers."

                      From this month, Mahlangu said, all provincial hospital heads must procure infection control equipment directly and circumvent the Gauteng Shared Services Centre - a body notorious for inefficiency and delays.
                      http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/art...ne-is-to-blame
                      Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                      The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: At least 30 babies die in Gauteng in May - at least 6 from Norovirus

                        What the MEC didn't say
                        July 23 2010 at 08:49AM

                        By Angelique Serrao

                        When Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu presented the report on the death of six babies at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, she neglected to mention one important fact - the presence of the deadly klebsiella bacteria.

                        A report submitted to Parliament on Wednesday points the blame for the spread of the deadly disease to dirty milk bottles - which was not mentioned by Mahlangu when she announced the results of the investigation on the same day.

                        The report to Parliament, which includes investigations by the National Health Laboratory Services, was not mentioned by the health MEC.

                        But Gauteng Department of Health spokesman Simon Zwane said the report they received from neonatal experts excluded klebsiella as a cause for the deaths.


                        Dr Sithembiso Velaphi, the head of neonatology at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital, said two reports were done. One analysed the dead babies and took blood cultures from them, while the other report tested bottles and sick babies in the ward.
                        "The blood cultures found that only one baby who died had klebsiella," he said. "The others didn't show any, so we found norovirus to be the cause of death. The other report found klebsiella in the bottles."

                        The parliamentary report was of a briefing to the portfolio committee on health on an oversight visit to Charlotte Maxeke and was presented by Dr Daynia Balldt, who was in charge of the neo- natal ward.

                        It said klebsiella was found in almost all the feeding bottles, which had not been cleaned properly.

                        "Gastrointestinal damage caused by the norovirus might have led to migration of gut organisms like klebsiella pneumonia and other bacteria into the bloodstream, and caused severe sepsis requiring the administration of antibiotics," said the report.

                        It added that the contaminated bottles could have led to the introduction of dangerous bacteria into babies with norovirus and caused complications.

                        The report was presented on the same day that Mahlangu gave a media briefing, saying the babies died from a potent form of the norovirus and that no negligence could be attributed to the hospital or its staff.

                        The MEC made no mention of klebsiella and did not make available the actual report, but rather gave a summary of the events.

                        On Thursday the DA's Jack Bloom submitted an application to the Health Department for access to the full report.

                        "It is totally inexcusable that only a two-page summary has been released rather than the full report," said Bloom. "This is why there is so much public scepticism that the truth has been told in this tragic matter."

                        In the report submitted to parliament, it was indicated that 17 babies presented with symptoms of diarrhoea in May.
                        Six neonatal babies died.

                        Nineteen empty milk feed bottles were tested, and blood and faeces samples were taken, which were sent to the national Health Laboratory Services.

                        The samples grew klebsiella pneumonia, six of which were highly resistant to antibiotics.


                        The report presented in Parliament found that the norovirus "may have been introduced from the community" and that "the bacterially contaminated used milk bottles could have also led to the introduction of dangerous bacteria".

                        It was also found that the bacteria could also have been introduced by "contaminated hands due to inadequate handwashing".



                        This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on July 23, 2010
                        http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_i...5456311C439382
                        Twitter: @RonanKelly13
                        The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: At least 30 babies die in Gauteng in May - at least 6 from Norovirus

                          Overcrowding adds to baby deaths

                          2011-01-20 20:39

                          Johannesburg - Overcrowding and lack of resources were contributing factors to the death of six babies at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg last year, according to a report released on Thursday.

                          "This tragedy has occurred against a background of a neonatal unit that has been under severe pressure for a long time," a panel of eight health experts said in a report on the May 18 2010 deaths.

                          More...

                          http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Ne...eaths-20110120
                          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                          -Nelson Mandela

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: At least 30 babies die in Gauteng in May - at least 6 from Norovirus

                            Babies in ICU put at risk

                            Jan 23, 2011 10:17 PM | By CHARL DU PLESSIS

                            A shortage of beds forced staff at a Gauteng hospital to place two critically ill babies in one bed in the neonatal intensive care unit this weekend.


                            George Mukhari Hospital CEO Trevor Fisher yesterday confirmed that 15 babies had been placed in eight beds in the unit.

                            The complete report into the deaths last year of six babies at Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit was released last week.

                            The babies died over 24 hours and the report said overcrowding had contributed to the rapid spread of the diarrhoea that killed the premature infants.

                            The mothers of the infants intend suing the provincial health department.

                            More...
                            http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/art...CU-put-at-risk
                            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                            -Nelson Mandela

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