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Baby gas death report renews sacking push

AAP logoAAP 27/08/2016

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner is under renewed pressure after she failed to face a press conference to release a report into a fatal oxygen mix-up at a western Sydney hospital.

A baby boy died and a newborn girl suffered suspected brain damage after they were mistakenly given nitrous oxide or "laughing gas" instead of oxygen at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital in June and July this year.

The report found the incidents were the result of incorrect installation of gas pipelines, flawed testing and governance failures.

Ms Skinner has been criticised by the family of the baby boy for her handling of the case, while Opposition Leader Luke Foley has urged the premier to sack her.

Mr Foley said it was a disgraceful "dereliction of duty" that no government ministers fronted the public when the report was released on Saturday by NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.

"It's utterly outrageous that when two babies are gassed nobody from the cabinet of NSW can be bothered to front up and speak with the public about it," Mr Foley told reporters outside the hospital.

He said Ms Skinner should immediately stand down or be sacked, and an independent external investigation into the deadly bungle be launched.

Ms Skinner has previously defended her position and apologised to the victims.

"I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering caused to the families of the two babies," Ms Skinner said in a statement on Friday.

The report found that both South West Sydney Local Health District and BOC Ltd, who installed the medical gas piping, failed to comply with Australian standards.

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