61 children die within 72 hours in Gorakhpur’s BRD hospital

India: Days after alleged disruption in oxygen supply resulted in deaths of over 30 children within 48 hours at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, 61 children died there in the last 72 hours, spreading panic in the hospital again.

The latest deaths were due to various ailments, including encephalitis, health complexities in newborns, pneumonia, sepsis etc, whose patients have been flooding the hospital, leading to overcrowding, a report in Hindustan Times,  newspaper based in India, said.

On August 27, 28 and 29, 61 deaths were recorded at the hospital — 11 in the encephalitis ward, 25 in neonatal intensive care unit (NNICU) and another 25 in the general pediatric ward.

Local doctors said the number of deaths will increase in the coming days due to heavy rainfall, floods and water-logging which foster the spread of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES).

While BRD principal Dr P K Singh did not respond to repeated calls, Dr R N Singh, a paediatrician, who has worked extensively in the field of encephalitis, said: “Insufficient homework was done to control the outspread of AES in January, and thereafter the entire machinery remained busy in the UP elections.”

“Secondly, heavy monsoon also accounts for a large number of cases among children,” Singh said, adding that measures like fogging to kill mosquitoes (JE host), de-silting, vaccination and chlorination of water were not done in time.

After the death of over 30 children on August 10 and 11, the state government increased the strength of doctors and paramedical staff in the hospital. But due to the large inflow of infected children, the wards are packed and three to four children are adjusted on one bed.

The medical college receives patients from 36 eastern UP districts and Nepal and at any given time has about 500 such patients.

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