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No doctor on night duty,infant dies in RML

A 10-month-old baby boy died at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital early on Sunday morning after the doctor on night duty allegedly failed to turn up and the authorities had arranged for no replacement.

Written by Vidya Krishnan | New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2009 12:34 am

A 10-month-old baby boy died at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital early on Sunday morning after the doctor on night duty allegedly failed to turn up and the authorities had arranged for no replacement.

The infant had been admitted to the Burns Ward of the hospital with 65 per cent burn injuries on Friday morning.

The doctor on duty,Saurav Rana,did not turn up for his shift on Saturday night leaving 16 critically injured patients without supervision.

When contacted,RML Medical Superintendent Dr N K Chaturvedi who is in Jaipur,asked Newsline to contact the head of the hospital’s Burns Department Dr L K Makhija.

Admitting the lapse,Dr Makhija said disciplinary action would be taken against Dr Rana,a junior resident with the hospital.

“We will ensure that responsibility is fixed. We have already initiated action against Dr Rana,” said Dr Makhija.

Recounting the tragedy,the child’s father,Rakesh Kumar said,“My wife was heating water to take a bath and our son was playing next to the bucket with an immersion water heater. He went crawling to the bucket,when my wife stepped out to answer the door. He tried to put his hand in the bucket and got severely burnt.”

The doctor on-call was informed around 4.30 am after the child’s condition started deteriorating rapidly. “The doctor reached around 5 am. By then,our son was dead. Why did the authorities not call a doctor when they realised that the doctor on duty was absent? This is criminal negligence,” charged Kumar.

Emergency services in the hospital were affected for over five hours as the child’s angry family members assaulted the junior doctor who was called in place of Dr Rana.

A case has been registered at the Mandir Marg Police Station and Kumar has been arrested for manhandling the doctor on duty.

The patient’s family has alleged that at the time of the incident,there were no security guards on duty and the doctors control room was also empty.

The police post was informed around 5.30 am.

“In our hospital,doctors do not bother to inform in advance that they will not be reporting for work. Senior doctors are also responsible for the casual attitude with which doctors treat patients,” said a senior doctor at RML Hospital.

Dr Rana could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

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