Gorakhpur BRD Hospital Tragedy: Newborn care units in hospitals under scanner

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New Delhi | Updated: August 14, 2017 11:23:56 AM

Gorakhpur BRD Hospital Tragedy: The death of at least 30 children has shocked the nation. Now it has been learnt that the hospital had accommodated patients 10 times its admission capacity

Gorakhpur, Gorakhpur tragedy, brd hospital, brd hospital tragedy, brd child deaths, gorakhpur, yogi adityanath, congress, gorakhpur, gorakhpur deaths, newborn care units, gorakhpur hospital deaths, gorakhpur hospital tragedy, gorakhpur encephalitis, gorakhpur brd medical college, gorakhpur oxygen shortageGorakhpur BRD Hospital Tragedy: The death of at least 30 children has shocked the nation. Now it has been learnt that the hospital had accommodated patients 10 times its admission capacity. (Representative image by IE)

Gorakhpur BRD Hospital Tragedy: The death of at least 30 children has shocked the nation. Now it has been learnt that the hospital had accommodated patients 10 times its admission capacity, according to Indian Express report. This was revealed by a central team that had visited the health facility on Saturday. This disclosure raised questions on Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) in the district and nearby areas. The team said that every infant warmer was shared by multiple infants. Notably, infant warmer is used for babies suffering from low body temperature.

An SNCU is generally a 12-20-bed unit and requires four doctors and 10-12 nurses for the round-the-clock treatment of sick newborns. The cost of setting up an SNCU is about Rs 41 lakh and the operational cost around Rs 10 lakh per annum. A government statement dated July 28, 2017, said 700 SNCUs were functional across the country to provide 24/7 care. “The problem is in monitoring the quality of care at these units. If sick babies continue to be referred to a tertiary care hospital, despite SNCUs having been set up, it defeats the very purpose (of setting them up). There is, as reported, a problem with the oxygen supply in BRD Hospital. It is working with standby oxygen cylinders. But the real issue is overcrowding,” according to Indian Express report.

According to Indian Express report, the SNCUs in the adjacent districts such as Basti and Ballia are either non-existent or non-functional. There is an SNCU in Ballia, yet babies are referred to BRD hospital by the staff who probably prefer to leave early, IE report says.

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Meanwhile, Union Health Minister J P Nadda, Minister of State for health Anupriya Patel and health secretary C K Mishra headed to Gorakhpur yesterday and announced the setting up of a regional medical centre for Rs 85 crore in Gorakhpur for in-depth research on children’s diseases.

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