Officials blame flurry of admissions of sick children, low birth weight

As many as 35 infants have died at a state-run health facility here between Tuesday and Saturday.This bout of infant deaths at the Bidhan Chandra Roy Post Graduate Institute of Paediatric Sciences (BCRPGIPS) is the latest instance of a recurring phenomenon at the facility and other medical colleges in West Bengal. Wails of grieving parents and kin fill the air at the premises of the hospital, which is regarded as a premier government health facility for children.

According to Tridib Banerjee, chairperson of the Special Task Force on Health, the spike in deaths was caused by a flurry of very sick children getting admitted at the hospital.Dr. Banerjee told journalists that most of these children, who suffered from serious complications, were referred to the BCRPGIPS from other health centres and died within 24 hours of being admitted. Some, he maintained, were brought dead.

He rubbished the charges of negligence and mismanagement levelled by anguished parents and relatives.

The health official said patients were, at times, brought in such a precarious position that it was impossible for doctors, in spite of their best efforts, to save them.The State government has formed a three-member panel to look into the matter and the Chief Minister has discussed the matter with senior doctors.

Experts hold that the infant deaths are a result of low birth-weight resulting from poverty and malnutrition among mothers.

  • Most children were very sick, referred from other hospitals, says State health official

  • Mamata gov’t has formed 3-member panel, discussed matter with senior doctors