ICU patient dies after rodents feast on him

Rat menace

Rodents with a taste for the human flesh have struck at a Jodhpur government hospital, killing a patient admitted in the intensive care unit.

A 70-year-old paralytic patient, on ventilator at the ICU of a government hospital in Jodhpur died a gory death on Tuesday, with rats allegedly feasting on him. The incident reaffirms the sorry state of affairs at the government hospitals in Jodhpur.

The rodents nibbled on the hapless man’s ears, eye lids, nose, lips and cheeks while hospital attendants and his relatives were fast asleep. They woke up to find him dead.

Even as the hospital authorities launched an investigation into the incident, the nursing superintendent and some ICU staff have been served notices.

The victim, identified as Mohammad Iqbal, was admitted to Mathura Das Mathur Hospital around a month-and-a-half ago after he suffered a brain haemorrhage.

Relatives of the patient accused the hospital attendants of sleeping early and turning out the lights at night. “The hospital staffs go to sleep by 11 pm after switching off the lights,” the relatives said. Iqbal had injuries on his ears, nose, lips and cheeks. Besides, the ventilator tube was not spared by the rats,” they added.
According to sources, the rats entered the ICU through a hole in the wall that has been fixed now. This apart, chemicals have been sprayed to ward off rats.

“We have set up a three-member committee to look into the case. The panel has been asked to give us a report at the earliest. They started their investigations on Wednesday and we hope to have a report by Thursday,” said Arvind Mathur, the hospital superintendent, adding that the hospital has sought professional help from the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI) for curbing the rat menace. An investigation has been launched to ascertain the actual cause of death.

Not a rare incident

Patients succumbing to rodent attacks is not an alien phenomenon in Jodhpur. In 2009, an infant allegedly died after being attacked by rats at the Ummed Hospital here.

The hospital grabbed the headlines once again after 29 women died there during childbirth, due to infection and contaminated IV fluid. This apart, a newborn was taken away by a stray dog from a government hospital in Kishangarh in Ajmer district last year.

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