Oxygen shortage at CHM turns fatal for newborns


Shortage of oxygen cylinders in the government-run divisional hospital since Thursday has so far claimed the lives of two newborns while creating panic among hundreds of outdoor and indoor patients.
While the administration of the Civil Hospital Mirpurkhas (CHM), the fourth largest government hospital in Sindh, denies the report, the doctors and paramedics have been witnessing large-scale protests by the heirs of the deceased for the past two days. On Friday, the niece of Dr Rafique was brought to the hospital in a critical condition. She was suffering from severe hypoxia (oxygen deprivation in body) and was referred to the emergency ward. However, CHM Emergency Ward In-charge Dr Ali Gohar Kalhoro, due to the unavailability of oxygen, referred the baby the Paediatrics Ward. The paed ward was already without oxygen cylinders and as a result, the baby’s condition worsened. The angry family members of the baby girl protested outside the ward and shouted slogans against the hospital management.
The protestors also thrashed Civil Surgeon Dr Asghar Arain and Dr Ali Gohar Kalhoro, resulting in chaos at the hospital with doctors, paramedics and patients’ relatives blaming each other for the mess. The local police had to reach to spot to control the situation. Talking with Pakistan Today, Dr Rafique told that two children have already died in the CHM Paediatrics Ward owing to the non-availability of oxygen. “There is an acute shortage of oxygen in different wards of the hospital including the emergency ward and this is bad news for indoor and outdoor patients.”On contact CHM Civil Surgeon Arain told Pakistan Today that there had been no shortage of oxygen cylinders in the hospital, but the patients’ attendants have made a habit of taking paramedics hostage at the hospital without any reasons.