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Hospital gets incubators after deaths

Gauteng Health Department spokesman Simon Zwane said the incubators were due to be delivered this week.

According to a hospital source, the five infants died because they were not put into incubators. Nursing staff resorted to using hot-water bottles to keep the babies warm.

At the time, four of the hospital’s six incubators were broken, while the remaining two were faulty and did not regulate heat properly.

Two other premature babies sustained burn wounds last week – either from the faulty incubators or hot-water bottles.

According to Zwane, one of the two babies who sustained burns had since been discharged and the other was due to be discharged soon.

The department denied the five babies had died as a result of broken incubators.

“The department sent a team comprising specialist health professionals to the hospital to investigate the cause of death and all other allegations."
“Preliminary findings were that the babies were born with extremely low birth weight, which limits their chances of survival,” Zwane said.

Nurses in the premature babies’ ward, who complained that they did not have anything to wipe their hands on, now have paper towels.

An external delegation of infection-control personnel and the hospital superintendent also visited the ward for the first time last week, following the article.

However, hospital sources, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation, claimed Jubilee still had several problems, including:

· Six of the fridges in the morgue are out of order;

· Patients’ mattresses were rotten, torn and smelly;

· The children’s burns unit does not have hot water and one of

the nurses had used her own money to buy a portable geyser, which

posed a danger to the patients

· One of the X-ray machines was broken.

Hospital CEO Damaria Magano, who responded to questions via Zwane, said all the fridges were working, and soiled mattresses were cleaned and taken outside to dry, while damaged ones were replaced.

She said the Department of Infrastructure and Development was looking at steam reticulation for the children’s burn unit, while the X-ray machine had been repaired.

Source: Health-e News , By Dipuo Sedibe

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