Three newborns undergoing treatment at the government-run B R Ambedkar Hospital in Raipur died on Sunday night after an alleged drop in oxygen pressure during its supply to the special care unit. However, authorities claimed that there was no shortage of oxygen supply and attributed the deaths to illness.
Director of Health Services, R Prasanna told reporters that when the oxygen pressure dropped, on duty doctors raised an alarm and immediately remedied the situation.
“Yesterday there was a drop in oxygen pressure, there was no cut in oxygen supply. CMO and Superintendent immediately intervened, sorted the issue. Death of children are due to illness, information will be shared shortly,” Prasanna said.
The hospital has, however, suspended the operator who is in-charge of the oxygen supply, after he was found in an inebriated condition while on duty.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Raman Singh has ordered a probe and expressed regret over the deaths. The secretary of health and director of health services reached the hospital and are monitoring the situation. Raipur North MLA Shrichand Sundarani also rushed to the spot after hearing the news.
Among the victims was a five-day-old baby who was suffering from a heart condition. The boy’s father, Prakash Vishwakarma, a resident of Balaghat, said his child had a hole in his heart.
Earlier this month, over 70 children died in Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply, a claim denied by authorities. A probe was initiated by the state government and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said those responsible for the deaths will be strictly dealt with. The BRD college principal Dr Rajeev Mishra was suspended and removed Dr Kafeel Khan as the nodal officer for the Department of Pediatrics.
With inputs from Dipankar Ghose