In India: 60 Children Die In Hospital As Oxygen Supplier Withdraws Over Unpaid Debts
In what can best be described as a tragedy, no fewer than 60 children reportedly died at a BRD Medical College in Uttar Pradesh, India this week, after oxygen supplier withdrew his services over unpaid debts.
According to reports, 34 babies died at the neo-natal intensive care unit, 12 died because of encephalitis, while the rest died of other unnamed causes.
When Reuters contacted BRD Medical Chief Medical Superintendent Dr R.S. Shukla, he denied the deaths had been caused by a lack of oxygen supplies.
In a statement released by the hospital, the children’s death was blamed on “drop in pressure in the supply of liquid oxygen” on Thursday, as the hospital further revealed that added cylinders were procured from various other suppliers.
The breakdown of the death toll provided by the hospital showed a spike on Thursday, with 23 fatalities, including 14 babies at its neo-natal unit.
“We have launched an inquiry and a preliminary report should be out today,” Anil Kumar, Gorakhpur’s divisional commissioner, told AFP news agency.
“Yes, sixty patients have died at the hospital in the last five days but we don’t think it’s linked to reports of oxygen shortage.”
The government is investigating the matter.