Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: Meet Dr Kafeel Khan, whose quick thinking saved many lives

Amid the tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 70 children at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, a doctor's quick thinking saved many.

Dr Kafeel Khan. News 18

File image of Dr Kafeel Khan. News 18

Dr Kafeel Khan, the head of encephalitis ward at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, thought on his feet and arranged oxygen cylinders with the help of his friends and private vendors.

According to a report in DNA, parents of the children admitted at the hospital said that had it not been for Khan, the number of fatalities could have been far higher.

Media reports state that on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, Khan, who was at his home, got to know that the hospital’s central pipeline was running out of oxygen and that emergency oxygen cylinders could provide gas only for two more hours.

When the hospital staff called up the oxygen supplier for emergency supply of oxygen cylinders, they were told that cylinders could be provided only after they cleared their dues, according to the DNA report.

Around 400 children suffering from encephalitis were battling for their lives in the hospital.

Khan along with two of his hospital staff, drove to his friend’s clinic and borrowed three oxygen cylinders.

News18.com wrote that Khan put the cylinders in his car and drove back to the hospital. The cylinders however lasted for 30 minutes only.

By the morning, when children had started gasping for breath, Khan instructed his junior doctors to pump oxygen with Ambu bags (small pumps used manually to aid breathing).

Khan then dialed some other oxygen suppliers and managed to get 12 cylinders.

According to DNA, Khan made four trips to ferry the 12 cylinders to the hospital.

News18.com reported that Khan even paid Rs 10,000 to an oxygen supplier out of his own pocket.

However, Khan was devastated at the end of the day, as he could not save all the children, according to the report.

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Updated Date: Aug 13, 2017 15:01 PM

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