Two months after a newborn died when she was removed from the hospital’s phototherapy unit because the parents could not pay, another newborn died at the Jalandhar civil hospital on Wednesday. This time, the doctors said it was because the hospital lacked a paediatric ventilator.
Babita, 25, a resident of Jalandhar’s Basti Mithu village, had delivered twin boys in the early hours of Wednesday. But the premature, underweight babies needed a paediatric ventilator and one of them died within an hour.
Babita’s husband Satish Kumar, a rickshaw puller, said the doctors had asked him to shift the babies to another hospital. But given his meager income, it was not an easy decision. “Before I could make up my mind, one of the babies died,” he said.
“If we had a ventilator, we could have ensured the child’s survival,” said SS Nagla, pediatrician at the hospital.
In case of premature deliveries, there is an immediate need to put the baby on a ventilator. Nagla said the hospital never had a pediatric ventilator. In case of premature births, they always referred the baby to private hospitals.