Lucknow: In a bizarre case of negligence, rats nibbled on the body parts of an injured patient in Badaun Government Medical College's hospital, located 290 kilometers from the state capital, Lucknow. The patient's brother told the media that his brother, Ram Sewak Gupta, met with an accident on June 30 and was subsequently admitted to the ICU at the hospital, where he is currently in a coma. On Sunday, when his sister-in-law came to the hospital to see him, she observed bite marks on his forehead, ears, legs, and toes.
Dr. N.C. Prajapati, the Principal of the Medical College, stated that he learned about the incident through newspapers, following which he inspected the ICU ward. During the inspection, a hole was discovered near the oxygen pipe and another one near the window. These possible entry points for rodents were then sealed. Dr. Prajapati explained that the presence of rodents and mice was likely due to the fact that the patient's relatives and attendants often sit and eat food inside the ward, attracting these pests.
"This is a serious issue, and I have asked the Chief Medical Superintendent to complete an inquiry within 48 hours. Action will be taken against those responsible for the incident," said Dr. Prajapati.
Nibbling on body parts is not a new phenomenon in Indian hospitals. Various hospitals, whether private or government-owned, are grappling with a mice menace. Some incidents that highlight the vulnerability of hospitals to this issue are:
May 2021: Rats nibbled on a newborn's toe at Indore's Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital, despite a warning from a firm that had conducted a fumigation drive. The firm had claimed that there were around 10,000 mice inside the hospital.
June 2021: Rats nibbled away at the face of a deceased woman whose body was kept inside a mortuary of a private hospital in Palakkad district, Kerala. The inquiry conducted by the District Medical Officer had found fault with the hospital.
2020: The body of a deceased woman was nibbled on by rodents at Indus Hospital in Dera Bassi, Mohali district, Punjab.
Hospitals are sensitive places, and patients suffering from critical ailments are admitted there. In such a scenario, the presence of rodents can pose a serious threat to the patients who are seeking treatment. The hospital administration needs to take proactive measures to prevent the entry and proliferation of rodents inside the premises.