31 infant deaths in four days in Bengal hospital
At least 31 infants died in the state-run B.C. Roy Post-Graduate Institute of Paediatric Sciences here over the past four days, officials said Saturday.
Health department officials said terminally ill infants were referred from the other districts of the state, private hospitals and nursing homes to the hospital, and were already in a serious condition when they arrived.
"They came with serious complications in the kidney, lungs, heart or liver," a doctor said.
Angry parents of the victims, however, alleged that their wards died because of negligence and mismanagement at the hospital, which is regarded as a premier health facility for children in the state.
The state government has formed a three-member panel to look into the matter.
Crib deaths have been a recurrent feature in West Bengal over the years, with the BCRPGIPS -- formerly the B.C. Roy Memorial Hospital for Children -- getting into the headlines time and again for the wrong reasons.
At least 50 children died at this hospital over ten days in June 2011. Eighteen of the deaths occurred in two days, from different causes.
Four months later, between Oct 25-28, 16 babies died at the hospital, triggering angry demonstrations by parents and prompting the government of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to set up a Special Task Force for Health.
Task force chairman Tridib Banerjee denied the allegations of negligence. "Many patients are admitted at B.C. Roy in critical condition. Doctors try their best, but still, at times, the condition of the patients is so bad, they die," he said.
(Posted on 07-09-2013)