Gorakhpur tragedy: Hospital administration charged with negligence as no alert was raised over oxygen shortage
A three-member team of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which was looking into the deaths of children at the BRD hospital in Gorakhpur has charged the administration with negligence, saying no alert was issued regarding shortage of oxygen
New Delhi: A three-member team of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which was looking into the deaths of children at the BRD hospital in Gorakhpur has charged the administration with negligence, saying no alert was issued regarding shortage of oxygen.
The treating doctors should have been alerted seven days before that oxygen supply was not being received, the IMA said.
It charged Rajiv Mishra, the then principal of the medical college, and Kafeel Khan, in-charge of the encephalitis ward, with negligence. "Although there is no evidence of medical clinical negligence against Rajiv Mishra and Kafeel Khan, prima facie it appears that a case of administrative negligence against them cannot be ruled out. Hence, administrative inquiry and action may be taken against them," it said in its report.
It said Mishra and Khan along with Satish Kumar, head of Department of Anaesthesia at the hospital, Mahima Mittal, associate professor in Department of Paediatrics and AK Shrivastava, superintendent in chief, Nehru Hospital, Medical College, Gorakhpur did not appear before the committee.
"People there were hesitant to speak. The scope of the committee was to only examine the working of doctors as other issues such as lack of oxygen, inadequate staff and any structural deficiency were being investigated by the UP chief secretary," it said.
The IMA in its report claimed that oxygen supply was interrupted for a short time on the night of 10 August and that the liquid oxygen supplier had not been paid his dues since the last 5-6 months.
It said the hospital was handling these cases and other critically ill patients, which were much more than the hospital's capacity. Also, there was no facility in Gorakhpur and nearby districts to manage cases of encephalitis.
"There is a lack of staff — paediatricians, nurses and other paramedical staff — in PHCs/CHCs. ICUs in 10 districts of Poorvanchal area are not functioning because of lack of staff and other resources," it said.
It pointed to a lack of cleanliness and sanitation in the hospital and about the presence of dogs and rats. "No alert was issued by the hospital administration regarding shortage of oxygen. The treating doctors should have been alerted seven days before the fresh oxygen supply was not received," it said.
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