The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Negligence jitters ‘delay’ death
- Family alleges that oxygen mask was put on lifeless boy

Malda, Feb. 7: The father of a one-and-a-half-year-old baby who died at the district hospital here this morning has alleged medical negligence and said the boy was given oxygen only after he died at 11 am.

An FIR has been filed with the Englishbazar police.

The allegation comes 24 hours after eight medical staff of the hospital were showcaused for the death of a newborn. On February 1, the baby was kept aside in the labour room — mistaken for dead — for 12 hours without any postnatal care before he actually died the next day.

Safiqul Rahman, a rickshaw puller, who had admitted his son Soyel to the hospital last night, said the boy was given oxygen only after the family started wailing when they realised that the child had died. “Scared by the recent turn of incidents, doctors then put an oxygen mask on the dead boy, waiting for more than an hour before declaring him dead (at 12 noon),” Rahaman alleged.

Soyel was brought to the hospital after the health centre in Harischandrapur, 100 km from here, declared his condition to be critical. He had sustained injuries in an accident.

Malda chief medical officer of health Radharaman Banik said the showcause has left the doctors jittery. “As a result, the child was not declared dead immediately. He was kept under observation for a few hours. But I have heard about the charge of medical negligence.” Superintendent of the hospital Maniklal Das has denied the allegations “He was brought in a critical condition, but doctors here attended to him and he was given oxygen,” he said.

The district hospital had come under scanner following the health minister’s visit on January 18. “This casual approach and indiscipline must go...Why has the paediatrics ward not been started' I told you about it a year ago,” Mishra had rebuked the hospital superintendent then.

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