Infant deaths: Hospital authorities say situation normal

West Bengal map
Kolkata, Oct 29: Authorities at BC Roy Children's Hospital, which has been in news for a series of crib deaths in the last few days, on Saturday said the situation was normal even as there were unconfirmed reports about the death of one more infant.

"The situation is normal at the hospital, but we will not be able to provide any data," hospital superintendent D Pal said when asked if any fresh infant death was reported.

After 17 babies died at the hospital since last Tuesday, the authorities have decided not to speak to the media.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who holds the Health Department, also declined an answer and asked that Health Secretary Sanjay Mitra be contacted.

Mitra, on his part said, "The situation at the hospital is absolutely normal, but one or two infant deaths on an average is a daily occurrence."

The state government has already given a clean chit to the hospital with an internal inquiry citing overcrowding and the moribund condition of the babies admitted.

The hospital superintendent said that out of 300 infant patients admitted, on an average there were five to six deaths daily which was not "unusual".

He said there were many fresh cases of septicemia, meningitis and other diseases among infants admitted "which pose a serious challenge to doctors."

A report from Burdwan said that there was no fresh infant death at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where 13 newborns have died.


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