The state government on Thursday suspended two junior doctors and one staff nurse who were on duty at the children's ward of Kamla Nehru Hospital. A two-year-old girl died and 18 other children fell seriously ill after they were administered antibiotic injections through drip late Tuesday night at the hospital.
Showcause notices were also served to head of pediatrics department, Gandhi Medical College, Dr Rashmi Dwivedi and associate professor Dr Jyotsana Shrivastava. Both these doctors were asked to reply to the notice within one week.
Hospital sources said that the children are now out of danger and three of them were discharged on Thursday. But Saloni, the two-year-old child for whom the injection turned fatal, did not go home. Her burial took place on Thursday. Her father Rambabu was called by the inquiry panel headed by the chief medical and health officer (CMHO) to record his statements. He, however, turned down the hospital administration's request for postmortem of his daughter.
Samples of antibiotics and dilutants given to the 18 patients have already been sent to the Central Drug Testing Laboratory in Kolkata for testing. The report of a local microbiological laboratory says the dilutants and antibiotics administered to the children were sterile, however, there's a possibility that the drugs may have contained toxins.
Meanwhile, the antibiotic Cefotaxime of batch number CFC023 and CFA017 and antibiotic Ceftriaxone of batch number I226 and dilutants of batch number S-860 have been banned in the entire state.
Medical education minister Anup Mishra said the junior doctors and the nurse were suspended because they failed to act when the children started sinking after the injections. They did not even care to inform their seniors. "It takes at least two hours to administer injections to 18 patients. If the patients fell ill just after 15 minutes of administering the injections, then either the nurse or junior doctors on duty should have informed their seniors. It means either the junior doctors were not in the ward or they ignored the developing situation," said the minister.
Mishra said further action would be taken after the government's food and drugs department submits its report on Friday. Chargesheets may also be framed against the persons who were found guilty, he added. "Earlier the drug inspectors used to conduct sampling of drugs supplied to hospitals but after I quit my post this system of conducting sampling of drugs present in the hospitals stopped. This system would be started again to ensure the standard of the drugs present in the hospitals," he added.