Over 100 Children Die Due To Lack Of Oxygen Supply In Hospital

Editorial Team

Mr Yadav, 30, and his wife, Suman, had twins after trying for eight years. The babies were just a week old. After they were diagnosed with fever, Mr Yadav had brought his babies to the hospital for treatment.  A doctor informed Mr. Yadav that his infant son had died and his daughter was in critical condition

"No one told us anything about oxygen," Mr Yadav said as he tearfully recalled that night. But when he saw his daughter spit up blood, he realized her lungs were running out of air. She died later that night.

"That's how all the other children were dying. Everyone was crying, screaming, holding their children in their laps and taking them home. What else could they do?"

The first deaths from the hospital were reported on 7 August, thirty deaths occurred between 10 and 11 August alone. It was widely reported that the hospital had run out of oxygen, which led to the death of 60 children over five days.

While state officials admitted that oxygen supply had been disrupted, they insisted this was not the cause of the deaths.

Most of the victims were in the neonatal unit or being treated for encephalitis, a deadly inflammation of the brain that has been rampant in the region for decades.

Both the state government and the hospital administration have said that the children died from various diseases, including encephalitis.

But in the face of growing outrage, the government suspended the principal of the medical college for delaying payment to the oxygen suppliers, who said the hospital owed them more than 6m rupees (about 34 million in naira).

Parents continue to tell heart wrenching stories of how they watched children struggle for air before dying. Many of them said doctors gave them bags and ordered them to manually pump oxygen into their children's lungs. But they were told little else.

"Within 30 minutes I saw three children die in front of my eyes," Vipin Singh said. Mr Singh's daughter, Arushi, had been admitted to the hospital after she displayed signs of encephalitis.

Her body temperature was low on 10 August, Mr Singh said, but the doctor told him not to worry. Two hours later, he was told his daughter had died.

Mr Singh said he felt that there was something wrong in the ward on Thursday.

"The doctors were running around, but they were not saying much. All I heard was that my daughter was dead and I had to take her body out of the ward.

I just wrapped her body in a blanket and left for home."

"Even when we asked, they didn't tell us anything," said Mr Yadav, who doesn't even have medical reports detailing why his children were admitted, what they were diagnosed with or how they died. But he wants to find out what happened to his babies.

Source: BBC News