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The Chief Minister today visited the hospital, where 368 kids have died since January 1 this year, allegedly due to negligence and inadequate facilities. “My office and myself had to step in because of the gravity of the situation,” the chief minister said and added that the levels of cleanliness are extremely poor inside the hospital and greater discipline is needed with respect to the presence of attendants accompanying the patients.
A few attendants said there were more children dead in the ICU. “They are not telling us what to do with these flowers (babies). They have died but they do not let us leave this place. It is a butchers’ place,” said Muhammad Abdullah of Nagbal Pahalgam. He said Yusuf’s “did not die but was killed due to doctor’s negligence.” Women said their babies had long died. “This pipe is full of blood. They put this (pipe) into his nose, through throat and ears. Blood oozed from his body parts and he died six days back. But they say he is alive. I want to tell them then why don’t they come and examine him further,” Dilshada said. HoD G B Pant Hospital, Dr Javid Choudhary had to come a long way from his home only to face the wrath of the furious attendants. “What the hell is going on? Your doctor killed my son and you are absent,” Yusuf shouted.
According to official records, the hospital admitted 4274 neonates (new-born patients) in 2011. While as in the same year the hospital recorded 475 neonatal deaths including 320 pediatric deaths, which they say was higher than this year. The officials due to the inspections by the higher authorities couldn’t trace the data of the last three years.
Official records at the GB Pant Hospital (January 1, 2012) show that around 358 children died during the period in the hospital against 1229 admissions. A large number of 105 deaths occurred in March. The number of deaths in January was 68 while in February the figure stood at 66. In March 105; in April 85; in May (up to 12th) 34 deaths occurred. But paradoxically, there are only five ventilators catering to around 1700 patients on average at G B Pant Hospital.
That negligence has taken place is obvious because protocol dictates that all hospitals which are falling under the Medical Education department have to convey their mortality numbers to the Principal Government Medical College, Commissioner-Secretary and the Minister concerned. As per the data sent to Principal Government Medical College here, 895 deaths were reported last year. This year the number of deaths stands at 380 so far. Official sources said this year there had been 68 infant deaths in the hospital in January, 66 in February, 105 in March, 85 in April and around 56 up to May 15 this year. The average deaths per day at the hospital is almost same for 2011 (2.45) and 2012 (2.42)
“The infants admitted in the NICU wards died today due to lack of proper treatment and negligence of doctors,” the attendants alleged. They said there were no doctors in ICU during night hours. “Only nursing staff was present in the wards who couldn’t handle the critical condition of the babies that led to their death,” the attendants said. Haleema, mother of one of the infant from Budgam said her baby died after a nurse came and gave her an injection. “My baby was all right and was undergoing a routine checkup. A nurse came and injected some medicine into him, soon after this his body turned pale and he died early in the morning,” said Haleema, mother of Faizan, while holding her dead baby into her lap.