Dr Saurabh Borkotoky, Superintendent, Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) in Assam, has instituted an internal enquiry into the large number of neonatal deaths in the Special Care New Born Baby Unit (SCNU) of the hospital from November 1 to 6 last.
Fifteen babies died in the period raising questions about what could have gone wrong. JMCH Deputy Superintendent Dr Nilotpal Bhattacharjee said that from the information he had got from SCNU Nodal Officer and Associate Professor, Paediatrics , Dr Manav Narayan Baruah, “the referrals from other nursing homes and outlying hospices was very high”.
“This is something which happens mostly during the festival periods and the hospital in all likelihood is not equipped to handle this influx. In fact, SCNU has a capacity of 40 but there were about 84 babies in need of such care,” Bhattacharjee said.
He further said that neonatal babies – babies who are less than a month old – could not handle stress and six of them had died on November 6 last. Bhattacharjee said that the enquiry will reveal the real cause and ascertain whether there was negligence by the doctors or it was due to want of equipment.
The six doctors who will conduct the enquiry are Head of Paediatrics – Dr Pranabjit Biswanath, Dr Purnima Baruah – Member- Secretary, Dr Bishnu Ram Das – Community Medicine, Dr Saidul Islam Bora – In-charge Gynaecology, Dr Pranabika Mahanta and Dr MN Baruah.