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8-day-old dies after allegedly being bitten by mice at government hospital in Bihar’s Darbhanga

The superintendent of Darbhanga Medical College Hospital in Bihar constituted three-member panel to probe the allegations of an eight-day old baby dying after being bitten by mice in the special new-born care unit.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2018 12:10 IST
Bishnu K Jha
Bishnu K Jha
Hindustan Times, Darbhanga
darbhanga medical college hospital,newborn bitten by mice in bihar govt hospital,DMCH
The father of the baby alleged he was shocked to find that rats were trying to nibble at the hands and legs of his newborn and he informed hospital authorities about it. (Representative Photo )

An eight-day old male child, undergoing treatment in the special new-born care unit (SNCU) of a government-run hospital in Bihar’s Darbhanga, died after being bitten by rats on Tuesday, family members alleged. Hospital authorities, however, have denied the charge.

“We were shocked to find that rats were trying to nibble at the hands and legs of my newborn during a visit to the SNCU of Darbhanga Medical College Hospital (DMCH) late on Monday,” the child’s father, Phiran Choupal of Pandaul in neighbouring Madhubani district, said.

“There was no nurse or doctor on duty. We immediately informed hospital officials but they informed us that the child was already dead,” Choupal added.

Later, Choupal submitted a written complaint to the Darbhanga deputy development commissioner (DDC), alleging that the newborn died after being bitten by rats due to the negligence of DMCH.

“The family members first went to meet the district magistrate. As he was away, the family members met me,” said Darbhanga DDC Kari Prasad Mahto. A committee would be formed by the orders of the district magistrate (DM) to inquire into the allegation, the DDC added.

DMCH superintendent Dr Raj Ranjan Prasad, however, refuted the allegation. The patient was brought for treatment in a very critical state on Monday afternoon. He was suffering from septicemia, a serious infection, Prasad said, adding that the child died early Tuesday.

“I visited the ward concerned to verify the allegation. It was found to be baseless. The child’s body bore insertion marks of peripheral venous catheter and not rodent’s bite”, said Prasad. The DMCH superintendent said he had kept photographs of the child as his parents refused a post mortem request.

The hospital superintendent has constituted three-member panel to look into allegations. The panel comprises deputy medical superintendent Dr Baleshwar Sagar, head of medicine department Dr KK Singh and his surgery department counterpart Dr VS Prasad.

SNCU’s nodal officer Dr Om Prakash also claimed that the patient died of serious health complications.

“The baby was having hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition that occurs when the brain is deprived of adequate oxygen supply, besides septicemia with convulsions. As he arrived in critical condition, he was given paediatric emergency triage, assessment and treatment (ETAT) as per the medical protocol before admission to resuscitate him. The SNCU does not have ventilator facility,” he said.

Prakash said the baby was undergoing treatment elsewhere and was brought to the DMCH on Monday. The child died at around 4.30am on Tuesday, he added.

The SNCU nodal officer, however, did not rule out the presence of rodents on the hospital premises “despite various measures to tackle them”.

“We do have glue pad to trap smaller rodents, but it is not effective in case of bigger ones,” an employee deputed in the paedriatric ward said.

A couple of years ago, rodents had allegedly urinated on an ultrasound machine which damaged its circuit and rendered the equipment useless. Recently, a rat was trapped and killed inside air conditioning machine in the chamber of paediatric department’s head.

Two years ago, rodents nibbled on the face of a patient, lying unconscious in the intensive care unit (ICU), prompting his attendants to immediately move him out of the government health facility.

First Published: Oct 31, 2018 12:09 IST