Firing incident shocks doctors, patients

Firing incident shocks doctors, patients

Sunday evening’s incident has not only left the staff at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) shocked, but the fellow patients too were taken aback.

Right next to the jail ward, where undertrial prisoner Vishwanath went on a shooting spree, is the nursing station. Beyond this in the same pavilion is a general ward where patients, who mostly suffer from extreme anxiety, are admitted.

“Patients who are admitted there are the ones who need constant monitoring. They are kept confined to their wards except for a short duration every day. They are on medication to keep them calm. The incident is bound to have affected their mental status. More so, since they are highly disturbed,” said a source.

According to a senior doctor at Nimhans, patients at the jail ward are usually tied up for security reasons and they are freed only when they have to use the washroom.
“Even when the nurse comes to attend the patient, it is done under constant monitoring by the police. The chances that the patient is free and can snatch a weapon is minimal,” he said.

Located next to the Nimhans Convention Centre on the institute campus, the prisoner’s ward is among the closed wards. The doctor explained that to avoid untoward incidents, the prisoners are kept isolated from each other and from the other patients.

“All the other patients in the pavilion are safe. They are being monitored by the medical staff. They have all been given dinner and the patients’ families need not worry,” said Dr K Shekhar, Deputy Director of Nimhans.

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