An alarming number of hospital deaths were reported from the pediatric ward of the Keonjhar district hospital, where 13 children passed away within 18 days, allegedly due to medical negligence. Agitated residents and families of the deceased demanded answers for the death of the children and asked responsible authorities to take action against the hospitals.
Following this, the Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister NK Das sought a report from the district administration on September 18. The deaths have been reported after a series of similar medical negligence cases reported across the country and have raised concerns about the quality of healthcare infrastructure.
Stating the reported deaths as an "unfortunate incident", the minister assured that the officials are looking into the cause of the deaths. A report by NDTV quoted him saying that the Keonjhar district authorities have been assigned to probe into the matter and find the underlying cause of the children's death.
The number of deaths was confirmed by the Additional District Medical Officer of Keonjhar, Kishore Prusty, who said that three children have reportedly died in the last 24 hours. The toll totalled up to 13 children within the past 18 days, among the 122 children who have been admitted to the district hospital till September 18.
As the news about the children's death spread across the village, people rampaged to the hospital and began destroying the public properties. The police and health officials had attempted to pacify the crowds in vain.
Peoples Version Of The Events
Relatives of the deceased alleged that the doctors were not available at the hospital on the night of September 18. The Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of the hospital, where critically ill children were being treated, was not visited by any doctors on duty, added few of them.
Supporting these statements, Mithun Nayak, uncle of one of the children, said that their child was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and died due to a lack of timely medical support. Responding to the media houses, he added that the child did not even receive oxygen support and died clearly due to negligence by the doctor and nurses.
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