Hospital engineer stood down after installing the gas outlets at a Sydney hospital where a newborn baby boy died.

The baby boy was accidentally given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital on July 13, just minutes after he was born, reports 9 NEWS.

A month earlier the same error left a newborn girl with suspected brain damage. A third baby was also believed to be involved.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said it appeared both the hospital and the company that installed the gas were to blame.

“It is my belief that BOC Limited, which installed and certified the medical gas outlet, and Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital operating theatres, which was required under Australian standards to check it, will share responsibility for this tragedy,” NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said.

Ms Skinner said the full report – due to be completed in a fortnight – and a coronial inquest into the baby boy’s death would help identify whether other hospital managers or staff contributed to the tragedy.

“If so, they’ll be held to account,” she said.

NSW Health facilities is now checking every medical gas outlet installed in the last five years, Ms Skinner said.

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  • Just too sad to lose your much loved little baby because of someone’s accident. Truly heartbreaking for these parents


  • It appears they need to have a nurse or similar person double check the cyclinders before they are fitted.


  • So tragic for the parents and so many questions. Healthcare is such a specific and important service that requires the highest possible level of accountability


  • How could this have happened again, one month after another incident?


  • Someone should be held to account – this was an important job, and they didn’t do it well.


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