WHY DID BA­BIES DIE?

DOH PROBES POS­SI­BLE LINK TO VAC­CINES

Sun.Star Cebu - - FRONT PAGE - FLORNISA M. GITGANO & JUSTIN K. VESTIL / Re­porters @fmgit­g­nao, @JKVSunS­tar

Ini­tial re­port from a pub­lic hos­pi­tal shows that the deaths of 2 ba­bies can’t be blamed on vac­cines they re­cently got, DOH says Still, Depart­ment of Health 7 Di­rec­tor Dr. Jaime Ber­nadas asks the epi­demi­ol­ogy of­fice to con­firm what caused the ba­bies’ deaths

Two ba­bies from Barangay Pa­jac, Lapu-Lapu City died last Satur­day, three days af­ter they were given dif­fer­ent vac­cines at the barangay health cen­ter.

Last Nov. 8, the mid­wife in­jected Ghir­vaughn Mcreign Lim­pan­gog, a three-month-old boy, with a pen­tava­lent shot; and Aye­sha Mae Su­son, a four-month-old girl, with a pneu­mo­coc­cal con­ju­gate vac­cine (PCV).

They suf­fered seizures and a fever soon af­ter, prompt­ing their fam­i­lies to blame the vac­cines for their deaths.

How­ever, Lapu-Lapu City Health Of­fi­cer Rodolfo Ber­ame said the ba­bies died from other causes.

“That is fake news. Why fake news? Based on the death cer­tifi­cate, the girl died of acute gas­toen­tiri­tis with se­vere de­hy­dra­tion, while the boy died of menin­gi­tis,” he said in Ce­buano.

Lim­pan­gog’s im­me­di­ate cause of death was “sta­tus epilep­ti­cus.” “Menin­gi­tis” was writ­ten in the un­der­ly­ing cause section.

In Su­son’s case, her im­me­di­ate cause of death was “elec­trolyte im­bal­ance sec­ondary to acute gas­troen­teri­tis with se­vere de­hy­dra­tion.” The other sig­nif­i­cant con­di­tion that con­trib­uted to her death was “pe­di­atric com­mu­nity-ac­quired pneu­mo­nia high risk with hy­poxia.”

The two ba­bies both died at 2:20 p.m. at the Vi­cente Sotto Me­mo­rial Med­i­cal Cen­ter last Nov. 11.

Ber­ame said that pen­tava­lent vac­cine has no his­tory of se­ri­ous side ef­fects, which in­clude fever and red­ness around the in­jected area.

“I think the par­ents did not tell the truth prob­a­bly be­cause we do not give vac­cines to chil­dren who have a fever or who are not feel­ing well be­cause the vac­cine is ex­pen­sive at P4,000 per shot,” Ber­ame said in Ce­buano.

Yes­ter­day, Ariel Igoy, Lim­pan­gog’s grand­fa­ther, filed a com­plaint be­fore the Depart­ment of Health (DOH) 7.

Ariel wants the DOH to in­ves­ti­gate the two deaths so these won’t hap­pen to other chil­dren in their area.

What­ever the re­sult of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Ariel said, they will not file a case against the per­sons in­volved. He just wants to know what hap­pened.

“I just want the pro­ce­dure to be cor­rected be­cause an­other child might fall vic­tim,” Ariel said in Ce­buano.

Gian Mil­li­cent Igoy, 20, Lim­pan­gog’s mother, said that her son might have re­ceived an over­dose be­cause he was given one vial of pen­tava­lent.

Lim­pan­gog, who used the last name of his fa­ther, was the sec­ond and youngest child of Gian. Gian has a three-year-old daugh­ter.

The Igoys wants a cer­ti­fied doc­tor or med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner to vac­ci­nate chil­dren in the fu­ture.

Lyn­lyn Su­son, mother of Aye­sha Mae, also be­lieves that the PCV killed her daugh­ter.

Lyn­lyn said they are will­ing to file a case against the per­son re­spon­si­ble.

Pa­jac Barangay Cap­tain Jimmy Ylanan, for his part, said that the per­son who vac­ci­nated the chil­dren is an ex­pe­ri­enced mid­wife em­ployed by the City Health Of­fice.

Ylanan also said the vac­cines were not ex­pired.

Mayor Paz Radaza said that she will ask the city at­tor­ney to look into the mat­ter.

Mean­while, the DOH 7, in a text mes­sage to SunS­tar Cebu, said that based on the di­ag­no­sis pro­vided by the hos­pi­tal where the two ba­bies died, the symp­toms they suf­fered are not side ef­fects of the vac­cines they re­ceived.

So it’s still in­con­clu­sive to at­tribute their deaths to the vac­cines, said DOH 7 Di­rec­tor Jaime Ber­nadas.

He has or­dered the Re­gional Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Sur­veil­lance Unit to in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dents.

Pen­tava­lent vac­cine is a com­bi­na­tion of five vac­cines in­tended to pro­tect peo­ple from five po­ten­tially fa­tal dis­eases namely haemophilus in­fluenza type B, which causes menin­gi­tis, pneu­mo­nia and oti­tis; whoop­ing cough; tetanus; hep­ati­tis B; and diph­the­ria.

SUNS­TAR FOTO / ALAN TANGCAWAN

A MOTHER’S OR­DEAL. Gian Mil­li­cent gazes at her three-month-old baby Ghir­vaughn Mcreign Lim­pan­gog, whose death health au­thor­i­ties want in­ves­ti­gated.

SUNS­TAR FOTO / ALAN TANGCAWAN

“JUS­TICE FOR AYE­SHA MAE”. The fam­ily of Aye­sha Mae Su­son is will­ing to file a case against the per­son al­legedly re­spon­si­ble for her death.

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