Guwahati: At least five newborns died in a medical college in Assam's Barpeta district in last 24 hours while two more are in a critical condition, a hospital official said.
The deaths were reported from the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital in Barpeta since Wednesday evening.
The college's Principal-cum-Chief Superintendent Dilip Kumar Dutta on Thursday, however, denied any medical negligence. He attributed the deaths to birth asphyxia, a medical condition resulting from deprivation of oxygen to a newborn during the birth process and lasting long enough to cause physical harm, usually to the brain.
"The babies born with severe low birth weight like 1 kg, 2 kg, 2.2 kg. The mothers were admitted later than expected in the hospital, leading to the situation. Unfortunately, we could not save them," said Dutta said.
State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the babies were in sick newborn care unit and received proper medical attention were given but it was the critical nature of the cases that led to death. "Two mothers were 20 years of age," he said, adding that the college is witnessing a decrease in Infant Mortality Rate this year compared to last year.
The Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital is the newest addition to the medical education scenario in the state. The fifth medical college in Assam, it was inaugurated in 2011.