LAHORE - Two-day old Khadeeja lost her life at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s Neonate due to unavailability of ventilator, ill fated infant’s uncle told TheNation yesterday.

“One of the twins, Khadeeja was feeling difficulties in breathing. Her brother (yet to be named) is quite normal. Doctors shifted the baby girl (Khadeeja) to Neonate and said she needed ventilator which was unavailable. They tried to recover her breathing through ambu bag. But she lost her life,” said Muhammad Zeeshan, a resident of Ghoray Shah.

“My brother lost his precious daughter. Her death is huge loss for the entire family. I asked doctors that whether we could shift the baby girl to any other hospital. Refusing to refer the baby to any other hospital, they said that the family could take her on own responsibility.

“They (doctors) suggested us to check availability of ventilator before taking the baby to any other hospital”, grief stricken uncle said in heavy voice.

Seven out of 15 ventilators at 550-bed health facility in the heart of the city are lying dysfunctional for the last many months.

Named after Hindu philanthropist Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, the facility is daily getting more than 2,000 patients at OPD and 1,000 at Emergency. Two out of three ventilators at Child Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are out of order. In the absence of ventilators, ambu bags (manual) are being used at over-burdened Neonate.

“Khadeeja is not the lone casualty. It is a routine at Paeds Ward. Available equipment in general and ventilators in particular are not in accordance with the patient load. Most of the equipments like ventilators are dysfunctional for months,” said a doctor working at Child ICU.

“Government and the hospital management are least bothered in repair of out of order equipment. In the absence of ventilators, attendants are asked to do the job manually through ambu bag.

“Any mistake while operating ambu bag can take life of a patient,” said the doctor, adding the situation would persist until and unless the government changes priorities and focus on health of the masses.