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Hospital closed after 32 infants die.

Manila: A government-run hospital in Makati City was closed after the death of 32 infants from "neo-sepsis", or a bacterial infection caused by suspected spread of deadly meningococcemia, the authorities said.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay ordered the closure of Ospital ng Makati, following the report of a fact-finding team that looked into the deaths that occurred in two months.

The authorities also suspected the top five officials of the hospital. "If we find negligence on the part of hospital staff and personnel, the city government will definitely file proper cases against them," Binay said.

The hospital's emergency room has to undergo extensive cleanup after a baby, who was suspected of being infected with meningococcemia, had been admitted, said Dr Ramoncito Coronel, chief of the hospital's clinic.

The emergency room was ordered closed to prevent further spread of the disease, said Coronel, adding the baby died on Monday.

Meningococcemia is an acute and potentially life- threatening infection of the bloodstream that commonly leads to the inflammation of blood vessels. It is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides.

Investigation

The death was the seventh this month and the 32nd since May, when the spread of sepsis at the public hospital's neonatal intensive care unit was discovered.

Neonatal sepsis, also called "sepsis neonatorum" or "neonatal septicemia", is a blood infection that occurs on infants younger than 90 days.

Last week, the city government ordered the closure of the government-run hospital following the deaths of 25 infants due to bacterial infections in one month. The department of health began an investigation on the possibility of an outbreak of neonatal sepsis. It remains unclear if the infection came from the mothers or from hospital equipment or personnel.

Coronel confirmed that 45 newborn sepsis cases occurred in May. The hospital had 273 deliveries that month.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 12, 2008
Words:316
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