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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

3-day old baby denied food for 19 hours, dies

Sagarnil Mukherjee, Hindustan Times  Behrampore, December 12, 2012
First Published: 09:39 IST(12/12/2012) | Last Updated: 09:45 IST(12/12/2012)

A three-day old baby died at the maternity ward of Behrampore Sadar Hospital allegedly after it was denied milk for 19 hours on Monday when nurses and attendants remained indifferent to the cries of the infant.

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The parents lodged a complaint with the superintendent of the hospital and gheraoed him till the police rescued him on Tuesday.

“On Monday doctors performed a surgery on my wife around 9 am. The hospital authorities kept my baby in a separate room. But they didn’t provide any food to it. The baby kept crying for food throughout the night, but none bothered to attend to it. There were two attendants and several nurses in the children ward. But none paid any heed to the cries,” said Biswajit Das, the father of the child. On Tuesday around 4 am an attendant found the baby dead, complained Das.

“The patient’s relatives have lodged a written complaint against an ayah for her negligence. I have given a warning to her,” hospital superintendent Kajal Krishna Banik said.

“The body reserve of a new born isn’t strong. They need to be feed timely. It is possible that the baby has died for lack of food. It is quite impossible for a new born to survive for 19 hours without any food, or mother’s breast milk,” former additional director of health service (school health), Subhas Mondal told HT.

Over the past two years, state-run hospitals have often grabbed headlines for spate of crib deaths and Behrampore Sadar Hospital also recorded such bursts in 2011. But starving a baby to death is quite unprecedented even by the standards of state-run hospitals.

The patient’s relatives’ gheraoed the hospital superintendent as the news of the death spread in the area. Pinki Das (25), a resident of Kossimbazar-Bhanga Kuthipara under Behrampore PS was admitted to the hospital a few days ago.

She delivered a male baby normally on December 8. On Monday morning doctors performed a ligation surgery on Pinki. So the baby was kept in a separate ward.

“My son and wife were quite normal till yesterday morning. Doctors didn’t find any abnormality after examining the baby,” said Das, the father. Hasina Bibi, a patient of the ward confirmed the negligence of the hospital employees.

“I saw the baby crying from 11 pm on Monday for food. But no nurse or attendant bothered to attend to it. No doctor came too,” she said.


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