Farrukhabad Hospital Ward Where 49 Newborns Died is Manned by Just One Pediatrician
The number of deaths, according to Dr. Kailash, is “not 49, but 30” because 19 were “born dead”. The doctor also denied reports that the deaths were caused due to lack of oxygen.
Dr. Kailash is the only pediatrician at the Sick Newborn Care Unit of the hospital. (Photo: ANI/Twitter)
Farrukhabad: There is just one pediatrician at the ward in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Farrukhabad district, where 49 newborns have died over a period of one month, allegedly due to a lack of oxygen.
Dr. Kailash is in charge of the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU), the ward where the infants died. However, he has no doctor under him, and is the only one taking care of the entire ward.
“The hospital requires a minimum of four pediatricians, but has just one,” he said, hinting that the shortage of staff at the hospital could be another reason for the deaths.
Usually left without any support to treat the kids, on Monday, he found himself swamped with questions about the deaths as media descended on the hospital premises. One room, in particular, that of Chief Medical Superintendent Dr. B B Pushkar was the epicenter as a meeting of high-level officials took place there.
The number of deaths, according to Dr. Kailash, is “not 49, but 30” because 19 were “born dead”.
“We had admitted 211 infants during the aforementioned period, out of which 30 passed away,” he said, adding that 24 of those who are no more were referred to this hospital. “Only 6 were born here,” he said.
The SNCU in charge also denied reports by the now-transferred District Magistrate of Farrukhabad Ravendra Kumar that the deaths had occurred due to the shortage of oxygen in the hospital. The Chief Medical Superintendent, Chief Medical Officer, and the District Magistrate, whose report blew the lid on the possible cause of this tragedy, have been transferred.
Since the deaths span a month – July 21 to August 20 – none of the parents were there to comment on the matter. A staff nurse told News18 that currently, there were 15 newborns in the SNCU unit of the hospital.
“There have been several cases of premature births as also of parents refusing to admit their infant here, leading to their deaths,” she said, refusing to answer any question on the status of oxygen in the hospital.
The Joint Director, Medical, who arrived at the hospital on Monday morning, said he had no idea about the FIR lodged against the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Medical Superintendent. “I have had a look at the figures and the allegations. I have ordered a probe myself and I will be able to tell the cause of these deaths only after getting the report,” he said.
The unfortunate tragedy befell Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohiya Hospital weeks after 63 children died at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College over a span of five days because the oxygen supply was cut off.
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