Saturday, July 4, 2009

Three-month-old given Dettol instead of polio drops

A three-month-old child was hospitalized here after the baby was given Dettol instead of polio drops at a health center in Goa, the state's leader of opposition said. Officials Saturday confirmed the incident but said the child's father, and not the hospital, had made the mistake.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's Manohar Parrikar said the incident occurred in the state Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane's constituency of Valpoi in north Goa.

'There has to be a fullscale probe into this incident. This only speaks of the pitiable levels of health care in the state,' Parrikar told reporters.

He said that the child was now admitted to the Goa Medical College hospital near here.

Speaking to IANS, director of the state health department Rajananda Dessai confirmed the incident, but said that the child's father Rama Chorlekar had administered Dettol to his child on his own.

'The incident happened on June 17 at the Valpoi public health centre (PHC). Our preliminary enquiry shows that the child was already given polio drops, but her father wanted some paracetamol syrup for the baby's cold. Since the nurse was overworked, the father accidentally picked the bottle of Dettol from the rack and administered some of the antiseptic liquid to the child,' Dessai said.

The child had to be hospitalised subsequently after it developed complications.

Dessai said that no action had been taken against staff at the PHC because the family did not want to pursue the matter.

'The nurse was anyway busy that day and the father had volunteered to help, which caused the mishap,' Dessai said.

Dessai dismissed the reports that polio drops were in short supply and said that the accident was purely a 'result of human error' of the child's father.

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