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Posted On : 22 Sep, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
HC anguished over death of newborn due to lack of ventilator
Expressing anguish over the death of a newborn girl child at a city government hospital, the Delhi High Court today suggested putting online the details of medical facilities available at the medical centres.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari said such information would "obviate" distress to the public and "ensure availability" of the best medical help at the earliest.

The court had on its own initiated proceedings against the authorities which run hospitals in the national capital, after advocate Ashok Aggarwal brought to its notice that a newborn child had died as the family got no ventilator-fitted bed in four government hospitals here.

The bench took note of a report highlighting difficulties faced by patients for want of information on the facilities available in the hospitals, as well as their capacity and the status about the utilisation of these facilities such as bed occupancy, on any public platform.

"Perhaps if this information was readily available to the family of the new born, the life of the child may have been saved," the anguished bench observed and issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and the MCDs, who run hospitals in the national capital.

"Given the availability of websites and internet connectivity, it would appear justified if all information in this regard especially, the position with regard to bed occupancy at a particular point of time is made available to the public at large especially, patients and their attendants, to obviate distress to them and also to ensure availability of the best medical assistance at the earliest," it said.

The court asked the authorities concerned to examine the issue and file their report within four weeks.

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on November 21.

A newborn girl died at the Jag Pravesh Chandra hospital in northeast Delhi because it had no ventilator support, while the three other government hospitals where the desperate family had gone, refused admission saying no critical care beds were available.

As per a report, the baby, after a normal birth on September 20, was diagnosed with birth asphyxia which causes less oxygen to go to the brain and necessitates immediate ventilator support.

"In the absence of a ventilator, the hospital asked the family to ventilate the baby with an ambu-bag. The newborn died around 4 am on September 21," the report had said.

An ambu-bag is a manual, handheld resuscitation device, which attendants are asked to keep pressing 16-18 times per minute to move air in and out of the lungs of a patient who cannot breathe on her own. Medical experts have termed this practice as 'primitive' and 'condemnable', the report had said.
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