A total of 65 patients were being treated at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Maharashtra government’s facility in Nanded against the sanctioned strength of 24 beds when 11 infants died at the NICU between Sep 30 and October 1, a senior doctor said on Tuesday.
As many as 24 deaths, including of 12 infants, occurred at the Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital in Nanded in 24 hours between September 30 and October 1, state health department officials had said.
A senior doctor at the facility told PTI on Tuesday that the number of admissions in the NICU was 65 against the sanctioned strength of 24 beds when 11 infants died. Another infant died in the Paediatrics Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Dr Kishor Rathod, who heads the Paediatrics department at the Nanded facility, denied that the shortage of medicine was the likely cause behind the deaths of the infant patients.
“Out of the eleven deaths that occurred in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), eight (infants) were referrals who were shifted here at a very critical stage. They weighed below 1,000 grams,” he added.
He said another ward- the Paediatrics Intensive Care Unit (PICU)- at this facility has a capacity of 31 beds but we were treating 32 patients.
Dr Rathod further said the Nanded facility had recorded some last-minute referrals (on September 30 and October 1) but no patient was denied admission.
“Considering both the wards, a total of 156 children were admitted of which 96 were in the PICU and NICU together when the deaths occurred,” Dr Rathod said.
He said at least 90 beds are needed only for the general ward even though the number of admissions is much more.
Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital Dean Dr S R Wakode had told reporters that the 12 infants, who died, comprised six males and six females. Most of them were in the 0-3 day age group and had “very low weight”.
A three-member expert committee from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district has been formed with a mandate to submit a report on Tuesday, an official said.
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