Gorakhpur tragedy: DM report puts hospital administrators in dock for break in oxygen supply

A probe by the local administration into the Gorakhpur tragedy has revealed that there was overwriting in the log book containing the details of purchase and re-filling of oxygen cylinders at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital, media reports said. The report was submitted by the Gorakhpur district magistrate Rajeev Rautela.

The report has held the supplier, Pushpa Sales, responsible for the break in oxygen supply and has questioned the absences of then principal RK Mishra and head of anaesthesia department, Satish Kumar, from the college on 10 August, according to The Times of India. Kumar was the person responsible for ensuring that there was a continuous flow of oxygen to the hospital wards.

The report also said that Kumar and chief pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal did not maintain the records of oxygen cylinder purchases. The log book was not inspected or signed by Kumar. The Times of India cites the report as saying, "There are multiple instances of overwriting in the stock book of oxygen cylinder at the BRD hospital."

A child being shifted to another ward at the BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur. PTI

The report has held Kumar to be prima facie guilty of dereliction of duty, reports NDTV. The report has not indicted Kafeel Khan, the head paediatrician who has been sacked by the hospital. It did however say that there were gaps in coordination between four top doctors including Khan.

NDTV has also said that a second inquiry conducted by the chief secretary will submit its initial report on Sunday.

According to Hindustan Times, the report also stated that some deaths were due to lack of oxygen. This reason had been dismissed by the Uttar Pradesh government. On Saturday, health minister Siddharth Nath Singh had said that while oxygen supply had indeed fallen on 10 August, the situation had been been brought under control within a few hours. On Wednesday however, he told reporters that "Any death due to oxygen shortage is a henious rime... any laxity on this front is also a crime."

A panel of doctors assessing the situation has also found no relation between the deaths and a lack of oxygen supply.

The death toll at the hospital has reached 71 since 7 August after five more encephalitis-related child deaths were reported. Overall, since 1 January, as many as 144 encephalitis-related deaths have taken place in the hospital.

Updated Date: Aug 17, 2017 10:03 AM

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