If medical negligence killed six babies in S V R Ruia Government General Hospital in Tirupati on August 15, Hyderabad-based Niloufer Hospital registered an alarming 21 deaths on the same day, including seven new-born babies. And on Tuesday, 15 deaths were reported at this hospital, the state's only tertiary care children's hospital.
Officials maintain that the deaths were 'routine' but do admit that the average number of deaths at the hospital is around 10 to 12 and they also said that the staff was in full attendance on Wednesday, when the deaths occurred. But sources indicate that 20% of the hospital staff, particularly professors who deal with complicated cases, is off duty on holidays such as Independence Day. Besides, it was a busy day at the hospital with as many as 200 admissions on Wednesday alone. It is learnt two staff nurses were also on leave and substituted by 'relievers' at the hospital.
The 500-bed hospital has less than 100 nurses. The occupancy here on any given day is 200%, with each bed occupied by two patients being a routine sight. "The requirement (of staff nurses) is double that of the sanctioned posts.
Making matters worse, 40% of the sanctioned posts have not been filled," says a senior doctor, adding that even if there is equipment it cannot be used due to dearth of nurses.
Officials maintained that the number of deaths was not alarming.
* Author: TNN
* News story courtesy TNN
* Image courtesy Reuters
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