Splints blamed for baby deaths

Two premature babies have died from a rare fungal infection linked to the use of wooden tongue depressors as splints for new-born babies, it was revealed yesterday.

A third baby has had part of an arm amputated and a fourth survived the infection but died from complications.All the babies were born and treated at the Birmingham Women's Healthcare Trust. The wooden depressors are commonly used in newborn baby units.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "The Medical Devices Agency will shortly issue a hazard warning about the use of tongue depressors."