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Babies Die for Lack of Respirators - Website

Four babies die on average every day because of neglect and a lack of proper equipment at the main public hospital for treating children in the capital Damascus, an August 25 article on the pro-government website Syria News said.

The article reported that the hospital possessed only 14 respirators for babies and 11 for other patients, which, it said, was not enough for the 135,000 patients who are admitted to the hospital on average every year.

Many parents use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the hospital to keep their own babies alive, the article said.

An unnamed medical source told the website that some families chose to let their babies die to end their suffering. He added that giving the wrong dosage of medicine and other malpractices were responsible for some babies’ deaths.

The article also said that the emergency room for babies was overcrowded with up to six newborns placed at the same time on each of the room’s six beds.

It added that families were usually misinformed about the health of their babies and were allowed to visit for only one hour every day. All the families interviewed by the website said that they were insulted or treated badly by the hospital’s security guards, nurses and doctors.

One parent told the website that his child died from the transfusion of infected blood a few days after it was admitted to the hospital.

The director of the hospital denied the accusations in the article but the website maintained that all its information was documented with photographs and quotes from parents of babies treated at the hospital.

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