Police and health authorities in east China’s Quanzhou City have started to investigate an infant’s death in a hospital incubator after the infant’s family and the hospital held different accounts over the cause.
Quanzhou Children’s Hospital staff said the baby died of a bacterial infection, but photos suggest that some skin on the child’s back was scorched — possibly hinting of another cause of death and negligence by hospital staff.
Zheng Yuying, grandma of the infant, said that there were obvious “burns” on the baby’s back, buttocks and legs, and the family suspects she died of scorching in the hospital’s incubator.
Photos of the baby went viral on Thursday, one day after the 12-day-old baby girl died. They have sparked anger amongst the public.
According to Zheng’s account, the baby was sent into the hospital’s intensive care unit immediately after being born on July 6. Doctors said she suffered neonatal brain hypoxiaischemia and cardiac damage.
The family was informed by the hospital that the baby was recovering on July 14. On Tuesday, they were assured by staff that the baby could be discharged on Wednesday. However, at around 08:00 Wednesday, the hospital called the parents and informed them of the baby’s critical condition. The baby was confirmed dead at 14:00.
Police and investigators, including discipline inspection officials, have entered the hospital to probe the cause of death.
Doctors and nurses involved in the incident have been temporarily relieved of their duties so they can cooperate in the investigation. Surveillance tapes have been handed over for further investigation.
The hospital’s quality control department said the incubator the baby was in is up to standard.
An autopsy was carried out Friday and the results are expected to come out in a few days.
The tragedy has eroded the public’s confidence in the hospital. Some parents of new-born babies in the hospital have asked that their child be transferred to another hospital.
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