September 23, 2008

13 Turkish Infants Die at Hospital

Turkish officials say they're investigating the deaths of 13 infants at an Izmir hospital, less than two months after 27 infants died at an Ankara clinic.

Health officials said they were looking for possible negligence in the latest round of deaths of premature and low-weight babies, this time at ?zmir Tepecik Research and Training Hospital's pediatrics clinic, Today's Zaman reported Tuesday.

Twelve babies died within 11 hours on Saturday, and another infant died on Sunday evening, officials said, adding a forensic team and a head inspector had been appointed to determine the cause of the deaths.

The newspaper said the Zekai Tahir Burak Hospital in Ankara saw 49 infant deaths in July and 27 more in August, triggering an intense debate over infant deaths and neonatal department practices in Turkey. Most observers have placed the blame on lax hospital measures to prevent infections.