Infant deaths: Rajasthan govt panel gives docs clean chit
Jaipur: A Rajasthan government committee found that Kota's JK Lone Hospital is short of beds and its functioning needs improvement but cleared the doctors there of any lapses over the recent death of infants admitted there, an official said.
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 state government committee of doctors was sent to investigate the 10 deaths on December 23 and 24.
Earlier, the NCPCR had served as show cause notice to the state government. "Pigs were found roaming inside the campus of the hospital," its chairperson Priyank Kanoongo had said in it.
The state government panel found that the hospital was short of beds, functioning at 150 per cent of its capacity, Rajasthan Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said on Tuesday.
But the committee ruled that the 10 infants who died on the two days 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 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.
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 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 improvement of 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.
A panel of BJP MPs also visited the hospital on Tuesday.
The group included Lok Sabha MPs Jaskaur Meena, Locket Chatterjee and Bharati Pawar, and Rajya Sabha MP Kanta Kardam. Two state BJP leaders also met the staff on Monday.
The NCPCR team found the upkeep at the hospital, where 940 infants died during the year, in the worst condition with broken windows and doors.