Shatabdi Hospital has gone to the rats. In the past week alone, two elderly women admitted in the BMC-run hospital have been brutally attacked by rats - one victim's eye was nibbled at, while the other woman's toe was gnawed on by the rodents.
All the hospital management has done is to place trap cages around the premises, while the rodents continue to have the run of the place.
Both attacks occurred in the wee hours.The first incident took place on October 3, around 5.15 am, when the patient Pramila Nehrulkar, 65, was asleep. "She had had a paralytic attack the previous day, which is why we admitted her here," said her son, Rupesh.
Pramila Nehrulkar's eye was bitten
At the time of the incident, Rupesh's wife was sleeping next to Pramila's bed in the ladies ward, while he slept outside. They woke up when they heard the 65-year-old groan and were shocked to see that a rat had bitten her eye. "Even though my mother could not speak after the paralytic attack, she somehow whimpered when the rat bit her eye. The sound woke my wife," said Rupesh.
Shantaben Jadhav's toe was gnawed on
Rats go all over patients
He added: "It's been six days since the incident and the hospital staff hasn't even carried out pest control. They've only see up cages to trap the rats. The rats run all over the patients when they are sleeping."
The rats attacked yet again in the early hours of Monday, when Shantaben Jadhav, 75, was sleeping. Her daughter-in-law Savita was sleeping next to her, and woke up in the morning to find Shantaben's leg bleeding profusely. "I immediately told the nurse, who dressed and disinfected the wound, and gave her an injection. I thought this was a good hospital, that's why we brought her here for an operation on her pelvic bone. But now she has a new problem because of the hospital. She can't even walk," said Savita.
Cage is only solution
Dr Pradip Angre, superintendent of Shatabdi Hospital, said regular measures were being taken to prevent such attacks since he took charge three months ago. "We had sent a letter to the pest control authorities on September 19, and they sealed all the entry and exit points for the rats. In the last 20 days, we have increased the number of cages from 25 to 40, in order to try and catch the rodents."
When asked why they were not using rat poison, he said: "The main problem is the false ceiling; if we use poison and the rats eat it and go die above the false ceiling, we will not know how to get them out. This is why cages are the best option. We are trying our best." He further stated that some of the blame lay with the patients. "Some of them leave food lying next to their beds and go to sleep; this attracts the rats."
Number of trap cages installed in hospital premises
Number of months they have been struggling with the rat menace
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