Health authorities in central Vietnam removed a doctor from her position as the deputy head of an obstetrics department and officially rebuked the department's director over a spate of obstetrical fatalities.
The Quang Ngai Health Department announced that Dr. Vo Thi Bich Van had been stripped of her title at Quang Ngai General Hospital "for not fulfilling her management responsibilities and failing to correctly perform her professional duties."
Hospital administrators charged that Van is responsible for three deaths that occurred at the hospital--the leading healthcare facility in the province.
On April 30, Nguyen Thi My Hanh, 39, and her baby died due to fetal distress. On June 22, the newborn child of Tran thi Van Anh, 29, died due to severe respiratory decline.
Van's superior Huynh Ngoc Thanh was placed on 12-months probation for "poor management." The health department charged that his "lack of supervision" has lead to numerous shortcomings among doctors and medical staff.
It said shortcomings were ultimately blamed for the April 20 death of 23-year-old Le Thi Huong and her baby. A postmortem investigation noted that inattentive physicians and nurses failed to address Huong's fatal lung infarction.
All the victims were locals.
Le Huy, the Chief of Staff at Quang Ngai Health Department, said they had asked the hospital's administrators to consider punishments for the other individuals involved.
At least 19 maternal deaths have been reported across Vietnam since April, including three women in Quang Ngai.
Huynh Phan Thanh Tung, 33, died while giving birth at the province's Mo Duc District General Hospital on June 9.
Maternal fatalities have also been recorded in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In several cases, the newborn children died with their mothers.
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