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Court finds medical staff not guilty in deaths of 4 newborns

A court on Thursday found the medical staff of Ewha Womans University Medical Center not guilty of the deaths of four infants.

Seoul Southern District Court found malpractice by the seven medical workers, who poorly managed infection control, but said there were no causal relationship between the misconduct and deaths.

On Dec. 16, 2017, four newborn babies died one after another between 9:32 p.m. and 10:53 p.m. while being treated at the intensive care unit’s incubators in the hospital. Forensics results confirmed the newborns died of sepsis caused by Citrobacter freundii infection. 


The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said the infection likely occurred upon injecting contaminated fluids in the babies, as the nurses violated hygiene regulations when they were preparing the fluid.

The workers, including doctors and nurses, were charged with involuntary manslaughter for negligence.

The court, however, said there was not enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the deaths were caused by the fluid, as the fluid could have been contaminated after the newborns died and as some other babies who also received the fluid did not show symptoms of sepsis.

The court added that violations of hygiene regulations do not always cause the contamination of the fluid.

By Park Ju-young (