Three children die in Chhattisgarh hospital, low oxygen blamed

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Raipur, Aug 21 : Three children died in a government-run hospital here on Sunday night after a disruption in oxygen supply, and hospital officials blamed a oxygen plant operator who was found drunk on duty. He has been arrested.

The oxygen pressure at the B.R. Ambedkar Hospital started falling on Sunday night, leading to chaos as many patients complained of unease. 

Panicky doctors and nurses on duty reported the matter to Chief Medical Officer Anil Baghel, who rushed to the oxygen supply plant.

There, the plant operator, Ravi Chandra, 30, was found drunk and sprawled on the floor. He was supposed to be monitoring the oxygen supply.

When Baghel tried to wake him up, Chandra started quarrelling with him. 

An upset medical officer then lodged a complaint with the police against Chandra, who was arrested.

The incident follows the death of nearly 100 children in a Gorakhpur hospital allegedly due to disruption in oxygen supply.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh expressed grief over the death of the three children. He told Health Department officials to probe the tragedy and said the guilty won’t be spared.

According to informed sources, at least 30 children were admitted in the hospital’s Children’s Ward. Ten were on ventilator. Three who were in a critical condition passed away due to the low oxygen supply.

Health Commissioner R. Prasanna, however, claimed that the deaths didn’t occur due to oxygen supply.

He said: “Although oxygen pressure had dropped on Sunday night, the supply never got discontinued. The issue of pressure was also fixed without much delay. The person responsible for the lapse has, however, been arrested.

“The children didn’t die due to lack of oxygen. They were already in critical condition.”

Hospital Superintendent Vivek Chowdhary also said that the children died due to their critical health condition and not due to disruption in oxygen supply.