At least 49 children died in a month allegedly due to lack of liquid oxygen supply in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh. The district magistrate, in his report, found that the deaths were due to lack of oxygen supply and negligence on the part of doctors. Earlier, 415 children had died in Baba Raghav Das hospital in Gorakhpur.

A FIR was filed against Chief Medical Officer and doctors of the hospital. District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar had ordered an inquiry into the deaths that were reported between July 21 and August 20. The action came in the wake of 19 notices not being answered by the hospital authorities regarding the same.
In all, 30 children died at the hospital’s unit for newborns and 19 died during delivery, reviving memories of the Gorakhpur tragedy in which about 100 children died in a week last month at BRD Medical College. City magistrate Jainendra Kumar Jain had lodged a FIR with the Kotwali police station, saying doctors at the hospital had “neither administered oxygen nor any medicines” in the course of treating the children. Attributing the deaths to “perinatal asphyxia” — a condition in which the child cannot breathe properly, Jain said: “It was amply clear that most children died because of lack of oxygen.”

The hospital authority, on its part, has denied any lack of supply of liquid oxygen. Defending the fatalities, authority said the sick infants were under weight. A total 30 children died in the sick newly born care unit (SNCU) of the hospital alone. Other 19 infants died at the time of delivery or soon after birth at the hospital.

Chief medical superintendent of women hospital Dr Akhilesh Agarwal had said 24 of the 30 children who died were born in private hospitals or elsewhere. He added their condition was already grim when they were admitted here, Hindustan Times reported.

Earlier, 415 children had died in Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur due to encephalitis, pneumonia and other ailments. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said encephalitis remains a major concern in the region since the 1970s’.

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