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Report: Australian newborn dies after being given laughing gas instead of oxygen

A newborn baby died and a second was left in critical condition after a "laughing gas" mix-up at an Australian hospital, according to media reports.

Sky News reports the newborns were treated with a dispenser of nitrous oxide - commonly known as the anesthetic "laughing gas" -- instead of oxygen.

New South Wales health minister Jillian Skinner apologized for the tragic mistake at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital in Sydney.

"I am profoundly sorry for the families of a newborn who died and another newborn who was severely affected," Skinner said in a statement. "I deeply regret these families have suffered through such a devastating error. NSW Health will do all it can to support them. The oxygen outlet in one of the hospital's theatres was incorrectly installed and certified by BOC Ltd in July 2015."

Sky News reports the babies affected were born in June and July of this year, and their families were just told about the mistake this weekend.

An investigation into the mistake has been launched, and other regional health facilities have been asked to review their practices.

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