The Healthcare Reform Doctors Association (HRDA) from Telangana has written to the state Principal Secretary of Health, Shanti Kumari, seeking action against the deaths of two infants at Nampally Urban Health Centre. The children died because they were given tramadol instead of paracetamol after they were given a routine vaccine.
In the letter, the members of the HRDA have stated that as per the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM 2015) issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, tramadol is not recommended to be kept at primary health care centres. The list also says that secondary and tertiary level care centres were recommended to keep only 50 milligram capsules or injections of tramadol.
“Then, who authorized and supplied Tramadol (Schedule H Medicine) to Primary Healthcare Level that too 300mg dosage tablets which also comes under Narcotic drugs? We demand to take necessary action on those who authorized and supplied Tramadol 300mg tablets, that too narcotic drugs to Primary Healthcare level centres,” reads the letter.
On March 8, 34 infants were admitted to Hyderabad’s Niloufer hospital after they had wrongly been administered tramadol tablets instead of paracetamol tablets after being given a routine vaccine at Nampally’s Urban Health Centre.
The HRDA noted that a similar incident occurred in Sircilla. In August 2018, a two-month-old baby died, and three others fell critically ill after being administered a vaccine at the Yellareddypet Primary Health Centre. It was speculated that improper storage and administration of vaccines led to the incident. Noting that no preventive measures were taken, the HRDA has now sought for stricter action to be taken.