Infant deaths: Rajasthan govt panel gives doctors clean chit, says hospital needs improvement
Kota: A Rajasthan government committee has cleared Kota's JK Lone Hospital of any lapses after the recent deaths of 10 infants in 48 hours, an official said on Tuesday as opposition MPs visited the place, claiming they found it overcrowded and badly managed.
At least 91 infants have died at the government hospital during the past month, triggering opposition criticism and a visit by a team from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
The three-member committee of doctors was sent to investigate the 10 deaths on December 23 and 24. It found that the hospital was short of beds, functioning at 150 per cent of its capacity, Rajasthan Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya told on Tuesday.
But the panel cleared the hospital authorities of any lapses that may have led to the 10 recent deaths.
On Tuesday, a BJP parliamentary team comprising of MPs Locket Chatterjee, Kanta Kardam and Jaskaur Meena also visited the Kota hospital, triggering a protest thereby ruling Congress workers who accused it of "politicising" the deaths.
Earlier, the NCPCR had served a show-cause notice to the state government. Pigs were found roaming inside the campus of the hospital," its chairperson Priyank Kanoongo had said.
The Rajasthan government committee ruled that the infants were given the right treatment.
"The committee submitted that eight out of the 10 infants were referred from other hospitals in a critical condition and two were born at the hospital itself," Galriya said.
"Due treatment was given to all of them. The committee had checked medical records. Whoever was to be put on a ventilator, the required treatment was provided," he added.
Moreover, the 10 infants who died were at higher risk due to pre-term birth, he said.
Galriya said the committee was instructed not only to look into the cause of deaths but also the functioning of the hospital.
"The committee said the hospital is working at 150 per cent of its capacity. The number of beds is less than the flow of patients. Similar is the situation at the ICUs as well. There is a need to increase the number of beds," he said.
He said instructions have been issued to take samples to check infections at the hospital on a monthly basis, earlier done once in three months.
Directions have also been given to lay oxygen pipelines, instead of supplying it to the intensive care unit (ICU) through cylinders.
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The official said the hospital superintendent was removed from the post as a lot of equipment lay unused due to the lack of an annual maintenance contract. The AMC process has now been initiated, he added.
He said that the committee considered both the treatment and the larger systemic issues at the hospital.
"We are working on both the aspects and would be working on the improvement of the systemic part so that better treatment can be given at the hospital," he said.
The state government committee included Dr Amarjeet Mehta, Dr Rambabu Sharma and Dr Sunil Bhatnagar.
After their visit, the BJP MPs expressed concern over the infrastructure.
The panel said two to three kids were found on single beds and the hospital did not have enough nurses.
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