Toxicology tests awaited over Udhampur infant deaths

Srinagar: The health department has said that it could take several weeks for it to know what caused the death of at least 11 children in Ramnagar area of district Udhampur almost two months ago.
The investigation by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was completed last week, but authorities said the exact cause of death will not be known until toxicology tests are finished.
As speculation mounted that drugs prescribed by a local chemist may have played a part in child deaths, the Drug Controller, however, said nothing can be concluded without the detailed toxicology reports of the suspected cough syrup Coldbest PC syrup by Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (RDTL) Chandigarh.
“We have sent multiple samples of the suspected cough syrup Coldbest PC syrup to RDTL Chandigarh for details toxicology tests so that we can prove the claims made by PGI Chandigarh about the presence of diethylene glycol (DEG) in the syrup consumed by some deceased children and whether its quantity had proved nephrotoxic,” said Lotika Khajuria, Drug Controller J&K.
“The department cannot fight the legal case against the drug manufacturing company unless there are strong evidence and scientific tests about the toxicity of DEG that was found in samples tested by PGI Chandigarh,” she said.
Khajuria said the tests may take two to three weeks to complete till that time the sale and manufacturing of the suspected drug has been banned.
“The suspected shop Jamwal Medical Hall where from the suspected cough syrup was sold to the deceased children has been sealed and the manufacturing license of the Himachal-based company Digital Vision was also cancelled till the investigation concludes,” the drug controller said.
The 11 infant deaths were reported from different villages of Ramnagar block since in December and January after the children as younger as 11 months complained of fever, vomiting and low passage of urine in quick succession.
As per doctors, the deaths have occurred after the children came with unusual symptoms from different places and at different times so it’s difficult for us to conclude the cause so quickly. They also denied the allegations that the deaths occurred due to negligence. On the other hand, the owner of Himachal Pradesh-based drugs maker Digital Vision Konic Goyal also refuted the allegations saying the cough syrup made by his company had nothing to do with the deaths of children.
His company has been in the dock for supplying cough syrup that allegedly caused the death of nine children in Jammu.
Earlier talking to reporters, Goyal said his “company maintains good manufacturing practices standards and hence the syrup could not have led to the deaths of children”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.