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Gorakhpur tragedy: Some shocking facts

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Gorakhpur: Looks like Gorakhpur’s state-run hospital withheld quite a bit of details from parents of infants who died because of oxygen shortage earlier this month.

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According to the probe conducted, there was a complete lack of transparency, no accountability and miscommunication at the city’s BRD Medical College and Hospital where 34 infants died.

In terms of statistics, a total of 64 babies, lots of them encephalitis patients, died at the hospital in CM Yogi Adityanath’s hometown from August 7 to the noon of August 11.

It is worthwhile mentioning that majority of deaths were reported in a matter of hours between August 10 and 11. “It’s a heinous crime if deaths happen because of oxygen shortage,” Adityanath said in the aftermath of the tragedy. “It will be a service to humanity, if we present the right facts.”

The investigation depicts how parents were kept in the dark as the infants died at the BRD hospital on the killer night.

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The parents was basically clueless regarding the imminent disaster when nurses unhooked the ventilators and handed manual air bags to the parents with regard to pumping oxygen into their children.

Gupta said, “We had 52 oxygen cylinders. When piped air supplies dropped at 7.30 pm, some other staff replaced them with back-up cylinders. “When I took over (the shift), the entire stock was exhausted by 11.30 pm.”

Gupta informed all the staff on duty that the hospital would run out of all oxygen cylinders in a couple of hours. They were told to prepare self-inflating bags for emergency.

But on a very disappointing note, no one shared details regarding the crisis with the parents. “I don’t know what would have happened, if I had disclosed this to the patients (attendants/parents),” he admitted.

Anxious parents, Gupta said, pumped air from the hand-operated device for the next two hours till a new lot of oxygen cylinders arrived.

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“The vehicle carrying the oxygen cylinders was running late. It came in at 1.22 am (August 11) and the supply of oxygen resumed at 1.30 am,” he recounted.

When asked what caused the deaths, Gupta replied, “Inadequate oxygen supply. What else? Supplies should have been adequate. They weren’t and that’s why patients suffered.”

A government probe is indicted the then BRD principal Rajeev Mishra, chief anaesthetist Satish Kumar and chief pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal for the crisis.

Furthermore, liquid-oxygen vendor Pushpa Sales has also been held responsible for disrupting deliveries over payment issues since August 4.


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