Four infants die in 24 hours at Keonjhar DHH, probe ordered

In last one month alone, 13 children have died at the SNCU of the DHH which has received sanction from the National Medical Commission for upgradation into a medical college.

Published: 19th September 2022 09:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2022 09:22 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KEONJHAR/BHUBANESWAR: Death of four infants in last 24 hours at the special newborn care unit (SNCU) of the district headquarters hospital (DHH) rocked Keonjhar on Sunday with grieving parents seeking an investigation into the matter.

Locals as well as angry parents staged an agitation on the hospital premises alleging that the infants succumbed as they were not supplied with oxygen on time.  Apart from the short supply of oxygen, relatives of the infants alleged on-duty doctors were absent when condition of kids worsened in the night.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kisore Das directed Keonjhar district administration to inquire into the matter and submit an action taken report immediately. Collector Ashish Thackeray who reached the hospital also ordered a joint probe into the matter.

The SNCU of Keonjhar DHH

In last one month alone, 13 children have died at the SNCU of the DHH which has received sanction from the National Medical Commission for upgradation into a medical college.“Since we are not allowed to go inside the SNCU, there is no way we could ascertain whether the kids are being attended properly and on time. There was no doctor present in the hospital on Saturday night and nurses were seen running for oxygen,” said the mother of a kid.

Deepesh Nayak, a resident of Joda, lost his six-day-old kid. He said he had brought his son from Tata Hospital at Joda to the DHH at 9 pm on Saturday but the infant could not be saved at the SNCU. Kama Dehuri came from Uparemiri village of Bansapal block with his five-day-old child. He was apparently asked to shift his child to Cuttack which he could not due to lack of funds. The father was later told that his kid was no more.

As tension ran high in the hospital following agitation by locals and angry family members, chief district medical and public health officer (CDM&PHO) Dr Sujata Rani Mishra rushed with a team of officials to take stock of the situation.

“The hospital record says 128 kids have been admitted in the last one month and 13 of them have died due to birth-related complications and low birth weight,” Dr Mishra said and refuted allegation that there was shortage of oxygen and absence of doctors in the hospital.

She said the probe into the incident will ascertain the exact cause of deaths. Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra has also sought a report from the CDM&PHO on the series of death of newborns.

After the news was spread, Zilla Parishad member Ashish Chakravorty demanded investigation as well as proper treatment for the infants at the SNCU. The agitators were pacified after police assured them of proper investigation.


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