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FIR against 2 nurses for death of 10 newborns in Bhandara hospital fire

The FIR has been registered under Section 304 (culpable homicide), observing that the nurses were liable for the death of the babies.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 19, 2021 12:46:08 am
Bhandara civil general hospital, newborn babies died, Maharashtra DGP Hemant Nagrale, Bhandara hospital fire, Special Newborn Care Unit, Yavatmal Government Medical College, mumbai news, indian expressRelatives with their newborns after the fire at Bhandara District General Hospital. (PTI/File)

The Bhandara police has registered an FIR against two nurses in a case of a fire at Bhandara civil general hospital on January 9, when 10 newborn babies died.

The FIR has been registered under Section 304 (culpable homicide), observing that the nurses were liable for the death of the babies. Maharashtra DGP Hemant Nagrale said investigation is underway. The two nurses held responsible are Shubhangi Sathavane and Smita Ambidhuke.

Ten babies died of burns and suffocation in the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU)’s ‘outborn section’ after a fire started in one of the radiant warmer’s control panel in the early hours of January 9. The SNCU had no firefighting system. The Maharashtra government took action against seven district officials by suspending three, including the civil surgeon, transferred the additional civil surgeon and terminated the contract of three doctors and nurses. An inquiry report said that the doctors and nurses were negligent in their duty and recommended that a firefighting system be installed.

The nurses were not present in the ward when the fire broke out. They rushed into the ward only after hearing multiple explosions, by which time the ward was full of smoke. A senior health official, part of the inquiry, said the switch to the radiant warmer often tripped but the nurses never complained about it. The fire started from the radiant warmer switch.

Currently, the hospital is running a makeshift SNCU department in the district hospital by borrowing five radiant baby warmers and five phototherapy units from Yavatmal Government Medical College. The Bhandara district general hospital has received Rs 1.53 crore from the Maharashtra government to rebuild the SNCU.

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