10 Israeli doctors arrive in Romania to assist 7 premature babies hurt in hospital fire

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Israeli doctors in Romania to help burnt newborns

BUCHAREST, Romania — A team of 10 Israeli doctors arrived in Romania Wednesday to treat seven premature babies who are in critical condition after a fire in an intensive care unit at a Bucharest hospital in which four other babies died.

Romanian doctors at the Grigore Alexandrescu children’s hospital where the injured babies are being treated said the infants weigh just 1-2.5 kilograms (2.2 to 5.5 pounds) and have up to 80 percent burns on their bodies and respiratory tracts.

Dozens of people gathered outside the Giulesti maternity hospital, where the fire occurred, to light candles and leave flowers and fluffy toys.

Responding to calls for his resignation, Health minister Attila Cseke called on Bucharest city hall to fire the managers of the maternity hospital.

It is still not clear what caused the fire, but unconfirmed media reports pointed to a malfunctioning air conditioning unit. An investigation is still under way to determine the cause of the blaze.

Monday’s fire caused indignation in Romania, where health care is underfunded and understaffed. A witness said no medical staff were inside the intensive care unit at the time of the fire.

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