Farrukhabad Infant Deaths: FIR Filed, Doctors Go on Mass Leave
The children’s deaths at Farrukhabad’s RML were blamed on shortage of oxygen, just like Gorakhpur’s BRD Hospital.
Upset over charges brought against senior doctors of a state-run hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Farrukhabad, where 49 infants died within a month, all government doctors in the district went on mass leave from Tuesday.
Office bearers of the medical associations in the state informed that they have decided to be on leave till 7 September, but added that emergency and post-mortem services would not be disturbed.
An FIR was lodged on Monday against the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) and a senior child specialist of the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) district hospital following UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s directive. But the government said no action would be initiated on the basis of the FIR lodged against them.
“The way things have been presented is not what has happened. No action is, therefore, being initiated on the basis of the FIR registered against the CMO and the CMS in Farrukhabad last night,” Principal Secretary, Health, Prashant Trivedi, told reporters at a hurriedly convened press briefing.
“For us, it is a report; we will examine it for further action,” he said.
As many as 49 newborns reportedly died in a month at Farrukhabad’s Ram Manohar Lohia Government Hospital, allegedly due to a shortage of oxygen and medicine. The doctors of the hospital went on strike after an FIR was registered against them, India Today reported. The District Magistrate of Farrukhabad has been transferred.
Around 30 children died in the sick newborn care unit (SNCU) of the hospital, while 19 others died at the time of delivery or soon after being born, Hindustan Times reported.
To a question on the removal of CMO Umakant Pandey and CMS Akhilesh Agarwal, Trivedi said, “They have been removed for the simple reason that the District Magistrate is the head of administration in a district and they should have coordinated with the DM.”
“If there were any issues, then the same should have been brought to the notice of the administration. What happened actually – medically or technically – will be clear in the probe.”
On whether the deaths were due to lack of oxygen, he said, “Oxygen is not an issue in the entire episode. I think, of late, we are generating undue sensitivity to oxygen. It has become more of a buzzword.”
District Magistrate Had Ordered a Probe
Earlier in the day, District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar had said that a probe has been ordered to look into the deaths of the children. “The city magistrate is investigating the deaths of the children. His report will come in a day or two... The investigation will cover all aspects,” he said.
According to the HT report, the SNCU in-charge, Dr Kailash Kumar, blamed the deaths on a wide gamut of reasons ranging from premature births to underweight children.
“Mortality in such children is quite high. Often, we get children who weigh less than a kilo or two kilos... At times, the children are born with complications or there is a delay in being referred to the hospital from primary health centres. All these are the reasons,” he told the daily.
Dr Archana, who works at the hospital’s maternity wing, blamed the deaths on lack of awareness among mothers. Nineteen of the children died in Dr Archana’s ward.
“They (mothers) are not educated, not aware. Their children have water or blood deficiency but they will not come to know unless the issue becomes complicated... Often they delay the surgery, taking much time in deciding if they should go for it,” Dr Archana told HT.
Medical authorities have reportedly failed to respond to the 19 notices sent to them by the DM’s office, after the reports of children dying at the hospital began to surface.
The news comes close on the heels of the Gorakhpur tragedy, where over 250 children died at the BRD Medical College in August alone.
(With inputs from ANI)
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