Week-old infant in incubator bitten by rats, dies

Week-old infant in incubator bitten  by rats, dies

In a ghastly incident reflecting the conditions of government hospitals, a week-old infant died after rats ate away his fingers, an eye and toes in the General Hospital at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, 246 km from here, on Wednesday.

Parents of the baby boy alleged that their son died on Sunday itself and the doctors have kept them in dark fearing public outcry.

Lakshmi of Krishna Lanka in Vijayawada gave birth to the baby on August 17 in Vijayawada government hospital. However the child had a problem in his lungs and was shifted to Guntur General Hospital for better treatment. Since then, the boy was undergoing treatment at pediatric surgery department.

“On Sunday early morning, my son started crying. As we are not allowed to stand next to the incubator, I urged the nurses to go and see him. By the time they saw him, rats had eaten his fingers and also an eye. The nurses then dressed the wounds and left as there was no duty doctor,” a crestfallen Lakshmi told reporters.

What happened after this was a mystery as the infant was then shifted to the intensive care unit where he was kept on ventilator for almost three days, without informing the parents about the condition.

“On Wednesday, the hospital superintendent came and told me that I need not worry as I have another son,” Chavali Naga Babu, the father of the infant said. “My son was recovering and would have lived happily. The rats killed him as there was a lot of blood drained out of his little body,” Naga said fighting tears.

While staff and doctors at the hospital were tight-lipped and evaded questions, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Health Kamineni Srinivas inquired about the incident and directed the hospital doctors to submit a detailed report.

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