Lack of oxygen supply led to four deaths in Raipur, NHRC issues directive

New Delhi [India]: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday took a suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of four newborns due to alleged disruption in the supply of oxygen at the government-run Ambedkar Hospital in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

Police arrested the oxygen plant operator, who was found drunk on duty, and a notice was issued to the Chief Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.

In a statement, the Commission observed that hardly two weeks back, in a similar reported incident, about 60 infants and children had died at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical Hospital in Gorakhpur, U.P. In both the cases, human error and negligence, reportedly, became the cause of deaths.

“It seems that nothing has been learnt from that tragedy. A death whether of an infant, child or of a grown up person, causes irrevocable loss to the families. No probe, amount of monetary relief and punishment to the culprits can compensate the loss of a human life,” the statement said.

To ensure such lapses do not occur and suitable effective measures are taken to address such problems, NHRC suggested issuance of suitable instructions to all the government run and private hospitals to ensure that such lapses do not occur.

Accordingly, the Commission directed the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the matter with every State and Union Territory. The response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is expected within four weeks.

As per the media reports, carried on the August 22, 2017, the Health Secretary of the Government of Chhattisgarh has denied that the deaths were due to disruption in the supply of oxygen, but he also admitted that the level of oxygen in a few cylinders was found to be low. The health officials have, reportedly, told that it was possible that the drop in oxygen pressure in the Children Special Care Unit may have caused the deaths.

As per sources, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh has ordered stern action against those found guilty for the incident. (ANI)