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Updated: October 29, 2011 01:09 IST

Four more crib deaths in Kolkata institute, 12 in Bardhaman hospital

Marcus Dam
Comment (8)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
A woman takes her 12-day-old baby home after being discharged from B.C. Roy Children’s Hospital, in Kolkata on Friday. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
A woman takes her 12-day-old baby home after being discharged from B.C. Roy Children’s Hospital, in Kolkata on Friday. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

Even as four more babies died in the B.C. Roy Post-Graduate Institute of Paediatric Sciences here, raising the number of crib deaths there to 17, another 12 died in the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital in Bardhaman.In neither of the hospitals was there any report of medical negligence resulting in the deaths, the authorities claimed.

But the high incidence of deaths, over a span of four days, has raised fresh questions on the state of paediatric care in State hospitals. Several measures have been taken to upgrade infrastructure in West Bengal but health authorities admit that a lot more needs to be done. The administration in both the Kolkata and Burdwan hospitals says the institutions are lacking in infrastructure. Some of the babies referred to the B.C. Roy hospital are admitted in a very critical condition, doctors point out. Five or six children die almost every day in the State's biggest referral hospital for children, they add.

Clean chit to doctors

State health authorities have given a clean chit to the doctors at the B.C. Roy hospital following Thursday's probe into the 13 deaths since Tuesday.

Director of Medical Education Susanta Banerjee, accompanied by senior officials of the Health department, reviewed the situation at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital on Friday.

“There is no case of any medical negligence; neither has there been any complaint from the parties [guardians],” Bardhaman District Magistrate Onkar Singh Meena told The Hindu over telephone shortly after a meeting with the authorities and paediatricians of the hospital.

“Six out of the seven in the paediatric unit were neo-natal babies and underweight — between 750 gm and 1.2 kg. Four of them had been referred to the hospital from elsewhere. Five others who died were all infants admitted to the baby nursery,” said hospital deputy superintendent Tapash Kumar Ghosh.

Pointing out that infrastructure in the hospital was inadequate to cope with the admissions, he said that on Thursday when 12 babies died, 154 were admitted to the 60-bed paediatric ward, while 36 were there in the 20-bed baby nursery.

As for the high incidence of deaths over a 24-hour period till Thursday at the hospital, Mr. Meena said: “It is just coincidence.”

It is dreadful that in the 21st century, we aren’t able to cure a
treatable disease like Jaundice. The occurrence of Jaundice in new
born babies is common and phototherapeutic techniques are available,
but due to the lack of infrastructure, doctors and supportive staff,
we have altogether failed.

We are not in lack of money; rather it’s corruption in different forms
at different levels that’s making our country a hell right from the
birth. Our Health Ministry is to take the blame. It was disgusting to
find that the website of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
didn’t have any contact information mentioned. It’s our job to vote
for the right persons as well to stimulate our leaders to rectify the
health policy as well as its deployment for a healthier future.

from:  Musab Ahmad
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 20:29 IST

Shameless thing, lack of infrastructure, what a reason to escape. What the hell they are doing if there is lack of infrastructure. And its not a matter of coincidence.

from:  Narsing Mhatre
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 14:04 IST

The media and particularly the TV anchors are clamouring for a quick fix. When a similar crisis occurred in this hospital in July,
the Health Secretary announced the addition of a large neonatal unit and a CT scan for this hospital. This shows the misguided acute care, high tech approach to the solution of health problems which are embedded in socioecenomic factors as also in the failure to develop an efficient and accessible primary care network based on principles of Family Practice and univerasl access. The medical profession which, after all, determines public pereception of what constitutes good medical care has to accept its responsibility for the lop sided priorities. Medical education which in turn moulds the perceptions of the physicians is also to blame for its lack of social accountability.

from:  Dr. P. Zachariah
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 10:23 IST

40 children have died in 2 hospitals already . In hospital after hospital the story is the same - filth , overcrowding and callousnes of the authorities.Those suffering are the poor - the real poor. Nobody seems to care for them . And the poor constitutes almost 70% of the Indian population today. Nothing has changed for them while those in the Govt and select media celebrate "9%GDP growth" a "Rising India" and "Shining India" story everyday . Whom are they trying to fool ? The stark reality of India is there for everyone to see including those who have come to withness the much hyped F1 races in Delhi .

from:  VJ NAMBIAR
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 08:51 IST

At least we are now hearing the news of the unfortunate deaths. During the communist government rule not only hospitals had "we don't care" attitude but also suppressed any adverse news. In those days all hospital supplies were re-sold in the black market by hospital administrative staff and skilled staff did not have the equipment to operate because of poor maintenance and/or theft. No wonder hospitals in Chennai continue to see patients from West Bengal.

from:  Chander
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 02:35 IST

All those corrective / punitive actions Ms. Mamata Bannerjee would have expected/ demanded from the left front government if such crib deaths have occurred during her government has to take on a war footing.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 00:49 IST

It's really sad to see infants die. When the country can spend hundreds of crores on Grand Prix, why can't on good facilities of hospitals.

from:  Rajesh Babu Rajendran
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 00:35 IST

End to Child deaths It is dreadful that in the 21st century, we aren’t able to cure a treatable disease like Jaundice. The occurrence of Jaundice in new born babies is common and phototherapeutic techniques are available, but due to the lack of infrastructure, doctors and supportive staff, we have altogether failed. We are not in lack of money; rather it's corruption in different forms at different levels that's making our country a hell right from the birth. Our Health Ministry is to take the blame. It was disgusting to find that the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare didn't have any contact information mentioned. It's our job to vote for the right persons as well to stimulate our leaders to rectify the health policy as well as its deployment for a healthier future.

from:  Musab Ahmad
Posted on: Oct 29, 2011 at 00:25 IST
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