Kochi

Snakebite: report blamesschool, hospital authorities

Minister for Ports Kadannappally Ramachandran receiving a memorandum from protesting students of the Government Sarvajana Higher Secondary School at Sulthan Bathery on Monday.

Minister for Ports Kadannappally Ramachandran receiving a memorandum from protesting students of the Government Sarvajana Higher Secondary School at Sulthan Bathery on Monday.  

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Kalpetta District Legal Services Authority moots monitoring panel

The Kalpetta District Legal Services Authority has said that there is every reason to infer that there was gross negligence on the part of authorities of the Government Sarvajana Higher Secondary School, Sulthan Bathery, while dealing with the snakebite incident at the school recently.

In a report submitted to Justice C.K. Abdul Rehim, Executive Chairman of the Kerala State Legal Services Authority, A. Haris, District Judge and Chairman of the Kalpetta District Legal Services Authority, said there could hardly be any doubt that the hapless child breathed her last due to snakebite, for which no adequate attention and treatment were provided either by the school or hospital. No effective steps had been taken by the teachers or staff of the school as part of the first aid. Nothing prevented the school authorities from taking the child to nearby hospital at the earliest or contacting medical personnel over the phone.

The headmaster, teachers and staff of the school had the moral duty to see that the child was taken to the hospital without delay even without informing her parents. Nothing had been done in the initial half-an-hour after the snakebite was reported.

The girl was kept at the Sulthan Bathery taluk hospital for about an hour without administering anti-venom despite its availability on the ground that a paediatric ventilator was not available there. It had become fatal for the child. Had the doctor administered the drug in time, perhaps the life of the child could have been saved, the report said.

According to the doctors, the anti-venom was not administered for want of a paediatric ventilator. The necessity of paediatric ventilator arises only in case of the child developing some respiratory complications owing to allergic reaction. There was no justification for not administering the anti-venom to the girl, the report noted.

The Kalpetta Legal Services Authority suggested a permanent set-up for giving training to teachers of public schools and colleges in first-aid treatment. It also recommended constitution of a committee consisting of representatives of all the government departments concerned headed by a judge nominated by the High Court for continuous monitoring of the situation prevailing in public educational institutions.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 1:31:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/snakebite-report-blamesschool-hospital-authorities/article30108923.ece

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