The state Health and Family Welfare Department has sent a high-level team of experts to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital after a newborn died at the hospital Friday morning – the sixteenth death reported here in the past eight days. The hospital authorities have said there were no lapses on their part.
According to sources, the special newborn unit at the paediatrics department of the government-run hospital has a capacity to admit 40 patients, but between November 1 and 6 a total of 84 patients were admitted at the ward. On Friday, 70 children were being treated here.
Samir Sinha, Commissioner and Secretary of state Health and Family Welfare Department, confirmed that sixteen deaths were reported from the hospital since November 1, including two children who were reportedly brought in dead to the hospital.
“Normally six to eight deaths are reported in a week when there are 40 patients admitted… (But) during this period (Nov 1-6), higher than normal number of patients were admitted at the hospital,” Sinha said.
“Every life is important. I will investigate each of the deaths and am keeping a close watch on the situation… The team we have sent comprises the Director of Medical Education, a doctor each from the Guwahati Medical College and the Assam Medical College and the child health consultant of the UNICEF in the Northeast,” he added.
Sinha said he could comment further only after studying the first report from the four-member team.
Dr Pranabjit Biswanath, head of the paediatrics department, said, “There was absolutely no lapse on the part of hospital authorities. The number of patients was double than the usual and the condition of some of the newborns was really bad…. We tried out best and the deaths are really unfortunate.”