Newborn dies in Alwar hospital fire, two docs suspended

Newborn dies in Alwar hospital fire, two docs suspended

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A newborn girl died here on Wednesday after suffering severe burns at a hospital in Alwar, prompting the Rajasthan government to suspend two doctors and three other staff members of the hospital.

A newborn girl was critically injured on Tuesday when a fire broke out in the neonatal care unit of a government hospital in Alwar.

The child was admitted with 70 per cent burn injuries at Jaipur's J K Lon Hospital, where she died during treatment on Wednesday.

There were 15 infants admitted to the neonatal care unit of Geetanand Hospital in Alwar when the fire broke out in an oxygen pipeline linked to a radiant warmer around 5 am on Tuesday.

The girl, who was being treated for pneumonia, suffered burns on her face, chest and shoulder, while others were rescued and shifted to other units, an official had said.

The newborn's death prompted the state government to suspend two doctors and four staffers of the Alwar hospital and sack a private contractor.

The suspended doctors included hospital's neonatal care unit's in-charge Mahesh Sharma and one other, Kirpal Singh, who was on duty at the unit when the fire broke out there, said Dr K K Sharma, the director of Rajasthan Medical and Health Department.

The others suspended included three nursing staffers and one ward boy of the hospital, he said, adding the service of an electrician, who was on contractual appointment in the hospital, too was terminated.

The action against all six was taken on a preliminary enquiry report by a three-member panel, indicting them for the dereliction of duty, he said.

The committee, headed by the Rajasthan Medical and Health Department's joint director, had found negligence on part of the unit in-charge, nursing in-charge and others staffers of the hospital yesterday.

The action against the Alwar hospital doctors and staffers was taken on directions of state Health Minister Raghu Sharma.

"Sparking occurred in the panel of radiant warmer due to high voltage. It led to fire in the hood of oxygen pipe," Alwar Chief Medical and Health Officer O P Meena said.

"The panel was not properly maintained."

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