Shocking! In Madhya Pradesh, child dies after given nitrous oxide instead of oxygen

A technician from a private company, Rajendra Choudhary, who was responsible for fitting the gas supply pipeline, has been booked.

Indore: In a shocking case of laxity, staff of a government hospital in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, gave nitrous oxide, a widely used anaesthetic, to breathe in place of oxygen to children, leading to the death of a five-year-old boy.

Another child was in a critical condition at Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital here.

"Ayush died during Hernia surgery on May 27, while Rajveer (1) turned critical while being operated for a deformity on May 28, in the hospital's recently-inaugurated operation theatre," MY Hospital acting Superintendent Dr Sumit Shukla said on Sunday.


Rajveer is being treated at the hospital's paediatric ICU ward and his condition is critical, he said.

As per investigation, the pipeline that was supposed to supply oxygen to patients was carrying nitrous oxide, he said.

The operation theatre, which was inaugurated on May 24, has been sealed, he said.

A technician from a private company, Rajendra Choudhary, who was responsible for fitting the gas supply pipeline, has been booked for manslaughter, he said.

Sumit Shukla, a surgeon at the hospital, told reporters that there are two separate colour-coded pipes in the operation theatre, one for oxygen and the other for nitrous oxide which is widely used medically for its anaesthetic and analgesic effects.

It seemed that the pipe meant to supply oxygen yielded the wrong gas, he said.

Shukla said the hospital was conducting its own inquiry as to how the horrible mix-up took place.

Some people, however, said the hospital has been guilty of gross medical negligence and is evading its responsibility in the matter.

Local legislator and Congress leader Jitu Patwari said the culprits are among the administration and the hospital authorities and they are the ones who should face stern action.

Contractor Rajendra Choudhary, who has been arrested, said he has been made a scapegoat.

"My job was only to install the pipes. Using those pipes to supply gas was the job of the hospital," he said.

Activist Chinmay Mishra of Swasthya Adhikar Manch, an NGO, said it was baffling that the hospital management lodged FIR against Chaudhary, and not against the doctor and other staffers of the hospital, and demanded immediate suspension of the facility's Superintendent.

Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital is the largest government hospital in Indore city.

 (With Agency inputs)

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