Nashik: After Gorkahpur and Farrukhabad, as many as 55 infants have died in the Special Newborn Care Unit of the Nashik Civil Hospital in the last one month, reportedly due to a lack of ventilators and oxygen cylinders.
Hospital authorities, however, denied reports that the deaths were caused by medical negligence. Additional district civil surgeon Dr. G M Hole said the main reason for the deaths was lack of ventilators.
Civil Surgeon Suresh Jagdale confirmed that 55 deaths were reported last month in the unit. He said 187 infants have died here since April. “Most of these deaths occurred because the infants were brought from private hospitals in a stage in which there is less chance of recovery. The deaths were also due to reasons like premature birth and lung weakness," Jagdale told PTI.
The civil surgeon said there was “no medical negligence” in any of the cases. “There are 18 incubators and we have to keep two, sometimes three, children in one due to the paucity of space," he said.
Health Minister Deepak Sawant backed the civil surgeon and said it is a “fact” that infants are brought to the government hospital at the last stage and this had led to the high number of deaths.
The minister said that a “protocol” would be implemented soon in private and government hospitals to avoid such deaths.
NCP MLA Jaywantrao Jadhav, who visited the civil hospital on Thursday, blamed the poor healthcare infrastructure in the state. He said the hospital has to treat more children than its actual capacity. Jadhav said not a single ventilator set was available in any state civil hospital, including the one at Nashik.
“Only one newborn should be kept in an incubator to avoid infection, maintain temperature and to treat jaundice. But, at present, the Nashik civil hospital authorities are keeping four infants in one incubator due to lack of adequate facility," he said.
This comes just days after 49 children were reported dead at a hospital in Farrukhabad, allegedly due to a lack of oxygen. In Gorkhapur too, 63 kids had died in a span of five day leading to allegations of medical negligence. It was alleged that the hospital was running short of oxygen and neither the authorities nor the government did anything to prevent the deaths.