Date
20 November 2017
Children lie in the Intensive care unit in the Baba Raghav Das hospital in Gorakhpur district in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. Photo: Reuters
Children lie in the Intensive care unit in the Baba Raghav Das hospital in Gorakhpur district in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. Photo: Reuters

Over 60 children die in Indian hospital due to oxygen shortage

More than 60 children died last week at a public hospital in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh due to lack of oxygen supplies.

Oxygen shortage arose as a supplier stopped shipments following unpaid bills, according to reports.

The deaths occurred over a five-day period from Monday at the Baba Raghav Das hospital in Gorakhpur district.

Thirty of the deaths were recorded between Thursday and Friday alone, BBC cited a hospital spokesman as saying.

State government officials admitted that oxygen supply had been disrupted but said this did not cause the deaths.

There was panic at the hospital with relatives trying to support staff using manual breathing bags.

Most victims were at the neonatal unit or being treated for encephalitis.

A district official said there was a “payment issue” with the supplier, but said the deaths could have been caused by “natural” causes as many patients were admitted in a serious condition.

The region is one the poorest in India and records hundreds of deaths of children due to diseases, including encephalitis, every year.

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RC

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