In a case similar to Gorakhpur hospital tragedy, 49 children have reportedly died in another Uttar Pradesh hospital — allegedly due to a shortage of oxygen supply. The deaths at the newborn unit of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Farrukhabad, took place over the past month.
The Uttar Pradesh government, however, denied that the deaths took place owing to lack of oxygen supply but attributed them to various causes.
The deaths came to light after the City Magistrate of Farrukhabad, Jaytendra Kumar Jain, on Sunday night asked the Station House Officer of City Police station in Farrukhabad to take necessary action against the hospital and its doctors, citing that he had found in his preliminary inquiry that the 49 deaths took place because of lack of oxygen supply.
An FIR was immediately registered at city Police station following which the government on Monday removed District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar along with Chief Medical Officer of the district and Chief Medical Superintendent of the hospital. The FIR has been registered under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 176 (ommission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it) of the IPC.
The city magistrate, on the basis of the initial findings, has cited “perinatal asphyxia” as the reason for death in 30 cases. The findings also quote parents alleging that their children were not given adequate oxygen and medicines during treatment.
The state government has, however, refused to accept the preliminary findings of the City Magistrate, and said a technical team of doctors led by Director General Medical is being sent to Farrukhabad to conduct an inquiry into the deaths.
“Oxygen is in proper supply at the hospital. There is no basis to blame shortage of oxygen supply (for the deaths) at the hospital. A team led by Director General Health is visiting the hospital soon to inquire in detail,” said Prashant Trivedi, Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, Uttar Pradesh Government.
He informed that a total of 468 births took place in the hospital, out of which 19 were still born. He added that while 66 were admitted at the hospital, six had died.
Trivedi further added that 145 children were referred to this hospital from other places, out of which 24 died at the hospital while others recovered.
Avanish Awasthi, Principal Secretary, Information Department, said, “Out of these 49 deaths, 19 were stillborn and the remaining 30 children died of different causes. He too cited one of the causes of death of 30 children was “Perinata Asphyxia”.
Awasthi added the exact cause of the deaths would be known once the technical team of doctors led by Director General Health would inquire into the incident.
Less than a month ago, over 60 children died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical and College Hospital due to the alleged shortage of oxygen.