Quang Ngai doctors suspended for investigation into newborn's death

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A hospital in the central province of Quang Ngai suspended three doctors Monday for investigations into their culpability in the death of a newborn on June 22.

The provincial Health Department had ordered the Quang Ngai General Hospital to suspend Vo Thi Bich Van, deputy chief of the Obstetrics Ward, and two doctors, Bui Van Ky and Dang Thi Tram, for one week.

The three doctors were on duty on the evening of June 20, when Tran Thi Van Anh, 29, checked into the hospital to give birth.

Anh was already in labor, but according to her family, no doctors examined her that night.

Early on June 21, Anh became very weak. Obstetricians removed her baby boy surgically, but the baby was weak. At around 9 a.m. on June 22, the baby died.

Anh's condition was also worsening.

Hoang Trong Quang, deputy director of the hospital, admitted that the doctors on duty that night had skipped a compulsory step performing an ultrasound scan to diagnose the condition of the woman as soon as she arrived at the hospital.

Instead, they performed the scan the following morning, which was too late, he said.

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Huynh Ngoc Thanh, chief of the Obstetrics Ward, said the ultrasound scan showed the baby had swallowed a large quantity of amniotic fluid mixed with meconium, causing pleural effusion and suffocation.

Quang Ngai Province police also performed an autopsy on the baby after the death and reached the same conclusions.

During her periodical prenatal checkups, Anh and her baby were both in good health.

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