Three children have died after reportedly consuming a 'cough syrup' which was administered by a mohalla clinic run by the Delhi Government in the national capital, the Directorate of Health Service.
In all, 16 children were admitted to the Kalawati Saran Children hospital, of which three lost their lives. "16 cases of Dextromethorphan poisoning were reported in Kalawati Saran Children hospital, New Delhi, out of which three children have expired in the hospital," said the enquiry report.
It further added that these kids were prescribed the Dextromethorphan drug by Mohalla Clinics of the Delhi government and the drug is strictly not recommended for paediatric age children.
On December 7, the Directorate General Health Services (DGHS), Dr Sunil Kumar, had asked the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government in a letter to issue notices to stop doctors at these clinics from prescribing the drug. In his letter, Dr Kumar wrote that doctors at these clinics had irrationally prescribed dextromethorphan to these children.
'Withdraw Dextromethorphan In Larger Public Interest'
The DGHS has also suggested "withdrawing the dextromethorphan in larger public interest". The medical director of Child Health and Development Centre, Dr Rajiv Seth, a former faculty member at AIIMS Delhi, pointed out that the drug is easily accessible in medical shops and does not require a medical prescription.
He further added that while dextromethorphan is seldom life-threatening, it can lead to fatal complications if misused. He also said that consuming it in large quantities could cause drowsiness, vomiting, severe nausea, slowed breathing and restlessness.
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