Binay orders closure of Ospital ng Makati neonatal ICU

Hospital says deaths caused by neonatal sepsis

By Thea Alberto, Katherine Evangelista
First Posted 15:41:00 06/06/2008

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) Amid concern over the reportedly growing incidence of infant deaths, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay ordered the neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) of the Ospital ng Makati (Osmak) closed while an investigation is conducted.

Osmak immediately complied with the order, with assistant medial director Dr. Ramoncito Coronel saying they are closing down not just the neonatal ICU but also their delivery rooms.

However, he said the hospital would continue accepting emergency cases that they cannot turn away since it could prove fatal to both mother and infant.

He advised non-emergency cases to seek admission in other hospitals or lying-in clinics so Osmak can undertake extra precautionary measures.

Coronel acknowledged that there had been 25 infant deaths from neonatal sepsis, a bacterial infection, in May, more than half of the 45 cases recorded. Osmak delivered a total of 275 deliveries last month.

Neonatal sepsis is a bacterial infection, Dr. Enrique Tayag, director of the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health, said.

Tayag explained that neonatal sepsis is not uncommon and that as many as six to seven out of ten infants infected die of the infection. Nevertheless, Coronal admitted that the sudden surge of infant mortalities in May had caused alarm.

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