In what may literally let loose a can of worms pertaining to the case of children’s death in Gorakhpur, the local administration’s probe into the matter found overwriting in the log book related to the purchase and refilling of oxygen at Baba Raghav Das Hospital.
The inquiry report submitted by the District Magistrate of Gorakhpur blames Pushpa Sales, the oxygen supplier, for stalling the supply of liquid oxygen to the hospital. It further raised questions on the absence of both the then principal, Dr. R.K. Mishra, as well as the Head of Anesthesia Department, Dr. Satish Kumar, from the medical college on the fateful day of August 10. It was Dr. Kumar who was responsible for the uninterrupted flow of oxygen to the various wards of the entire hospital.
It may be recalled that at least 30 kids lost their lives within 48 hours at BRD Medical College’s Nehru Hospital on August 10 and 11. Although the main cause was noted as the disruption of oxygen supply, the state government maintained that this was not the exact reason for the deaths. And, as it turns out, even the report furnished by the DM remains mum on the disruption of oxygen being the sole reason behind the deaths.
Rather, the DM’s report said that neither Dr. Kumar nor the chief pharmacist, Gajanan Jaiswal, maintained any record of the purchase and usage of oxygen cylinders, raising questions on the internal management of the hospital. In fact, Dr. Kumar is blamed to have never inspected or signed the log book. Further adding that anomalies in cylinders’ record log book point to financial anomalies, the report said:
There are multiple instances of overwriting in the stock book of oxygen cylinder at the BRD hospital. Even the log book which is supposed to be maintained by Dr Satish Kumar never had any signature or thumb impressions.
On the other hand, the Lucknow-based healthcare firm and liquid oxygen supplier Pushpa Sales’ owner Manish Bhandari suspects an oxygen cylinder theft racket at the BRD Hospital.