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The death toll continues to rise in the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy which saw the death of more than 60 children. While the Uttar Pradesh government maintains that the deaths are a part of the encephalitis epidemic, reports claim that lack of oxygen supply triggered the deaths.
A fact confirmed from the hospital is that there was a shortage of oxygen for a few hours, which resulted in catastrophic complications for the young patients. However, according to sources, the incident could have been much worse if it weren't for one person, Dr. Kafeel Khan, a paediatrician and the head of the encephalitis wing at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College where the deaths took place. Hailed as a hero, Dr. Khan went beyond the call of duty to try to save as many lives as he could.
When the central oxygen pipeline at the hospital indicated that the supply was running low, doctors and other staff members panicked and called up suppliers trying to arrange for more. Dr Khan, meanwhile, drove to a friend's private nursing home and borrowed 3 cylinders. When he found out that the supplier was willing to provide oxygen cylinder he bought more for his patients, paying out of his own pocket. He continued driving all night visiting various places to try to arrange for as many oxygen cylinders as possible. As a result, he was able to secure 12 oxygen cylinders, which saved the lives of many at the Gorakhpur hospital.
“While others doctors gave up hope, Dr. Khan managed the situation well by arranging oxygen cylinders from private nursing homes. He saved many lives by his efforts and presence of mind,” Gaurav Tripathi, an eyewitness was quoted as saying.