30 kids among 60 patients die in Gorakhpur hospital

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Aug 2017 08:40:23



IN a shocking incident, around 60 people, mostly children, are reported to have died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College here during the last five days, raising a question over the prevailing infrastructure in the state-run hospitals in Uttar Pradesh. Divisional Commissioner of Gorakhpur Anil Kumar has confirmed the deaths during the past four days and ordered a probe into the incident by a joint team of the Additional Commissioner and additional Director General health.

Though hospital denied shortage of oxygen as reason for the deaths, they failed to give any convincing reason for such large number of deaths.
The Divisional Commissioner, talking to UNI, claimed that such deaths are not abnormal in the medical college but did not give any reason that why he has ordered the probe. “Let the probe report come then we can say anything. Guilty would not be spared,” he said.

However, the official said 9 people had died on August 7, 12 on August 8, 9 on August 9, 23 on August 10 and 7 on Friday.
Earlier, District Magistrate Rajiv Rautela had told reporters that seven children had died in last 24 hours. Later, he said that 30 children had died of Encephalitis in last 48 hours. However, sources claim that there was some problem in the oxygen supply line on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday creating a scare in the hospital. As patients started gasping for breath there was a chaos in the encephalitis ward.

“Seven children have died of lack of oxygen in the ward,” Sameer Chaudhury, whose six-year-old nephew is admitted in the hospital said. The junior doctors tried to salvage the situation but they were helpless because there was no oxygen in the pipeline. At night, cylinders were brought and oxygen supply was restored but by morning the hospital went out of supply again,” he said. Principal Secretary Health Prashant Trivedi denied lack of oxygen as being the reason for deaths in the hospital.

“There was some problem in the oxygen pipeline at night. But the situation was managed through cylinders. The hospital administration has enough supply of cylinders in its stock. So, the report about death of children because of oxygen issue is false,” he said.
The BRD Medical college has a 100 bedded encephalitis ward where children from eastern Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Bihar are admitted.

The disease has been a serial killer for the last 36 years. The death rate, 2 to 3 years ago, used to range between 16 to 20 per cent but in last couple of years it has taken a dangerous turn. The mortality rate rose to 29 per cent in 2013 and is above 30 per cent since 2014.

The disease has so far killed several thousand children in last three decades with 2005 being the worst in which over 1500 children had died drawing global attention.

Sources in the hospital said that oxygen plant was installed in the hospital two years back. One Pushpa Sales Firm used to supply oxygen cylinders but the hospital has not cleared the dues with the result the due has gone up to Rs 68 lakh.
“Two days back, the company had informed hospital administration that it would not be able to supply oxygen unless the due