Hospitals ordered to tighten methods after baby scandal

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 November, 2011, 12:00am


Guangdong party boss Wang Yang ordered all hospitals in the province to carry out inspections and rectify procedures after nurses mistakenly pronounced a premature baby dead and dumped the body in the corner of a toilet.

The blunder in Foshan made headlines around the world, and came less than two weeks after the Guangdong city was pilloried internationally for an accident that saw a two-year-old girl run over by two vehicles and then ignored by 18 passing pedestrians as she lay in a pool of blood.

The Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday that Wang and deputy governor Lei Yulan had instructed all hospitals to carry out inspections and strengthen management to avoid medical blunders.

All hospitals in the province were ordered to reflect on the blunder and learn from it in order to improve medical services. Culprits in the Foshan hospital would be punished to serve as a reminder to counterparts.

A spokesman for the provincial health bureau was quoted by The Southern Metropolis News as saying the medical blunder was caused by mismanagement, negligence and a severe violation of medical protocols.

Three medical staff at the Nanhai Red Cross Hospital, a doctor and two nurses, have been suspended from their positions for pronouncing the baby dead without thorough medical examination, putting it in a plastic bag and dumping it on a toilet floor late last month.

The baby was found alive by family members about 20 minutes after his birth when they demanded to be allowed to check the body. They also found the baby was a boy, not a girl, as the nurses had told them.

The newborn was rushed to intensive care and remains in a stable condition. Xinhua reported brain scans showed slow brain development, but the hospital said that was common among premature babies.

The mother of the newborn, 22-year-old Liu Dongmei, was 32-weeks' pregnant when she was sent to the hospital on October 23 after suffering internal bleeding and stomach aches. Two nurses delivered her premature baby three days later.

The nurses were of the opinion that her child was a girl and certified the purple-looking newborn dead, saying there was no sign of crying or breathing.

They then placed the baby in a yellow plastic bag and tied a knot in it before disposing of it just minutes after its birth.

When the baby was found alive by family members, he was foaming at the mouth and his hands and belly were moving.