Patient under 24X7 watch at NIMHANS leaps off terrace

Sep 28, 2011, 07:09 IST | Sheetal Sukhija

Family of mentally challenged man accuse premier facility staff of 'negligence'; 20-year-old is recuperating in ICU after the jump, but hospital source says he may never walk

A 20-year-old mentally challenged man, whose hands were reportedly tied to his hospital bed and who was supposed to be under round the clock supervision, jumped off the terrace of the three-storey National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) facility on Tuesday morning.
The reason being stated for this incident, is alleged carelessness of hospital staff.

In the past two weeks, several patients have gone missing from
NIMHANS hospital, revealing alleged lapses on the part of its
staff members

Prabhu, aka Babu, is said to be out of danger, but he has suffered serious head and limb injuries. According to doctors, he may never be able to walk again.

The incident caught the nurses and ward boys unawares at around 10.30 am and Prabhu's kin heard a loud thud in the backyard of the building.

"We rushed to the spot only to see him lying in a pool of blood. He was still breathing and we called out to nurses and ward boys, but no one was to be seen for a long time. When he was finally taken to the emergency ward, his condition had worsened.
NIMHANS staffers should be taken to task for their carelessness in handling patients," said Venkatesh, an eyewitness.

When MiD DAY questioned the hospital staff, their answers were more or less awkward.

"We do not know about the incident, but the boy has been in the ICU," said an unnamed staff member.
Meanwhile, the patient's parents were devastated.

"My son was admitted here on Monday evening and I never expected that he would be left alone by the hospital staff. His hands were tied all day long and my other son was keeping a watch on him.
But when my elder son went to arrange for blood for an operation, Prabhu escaped," said Vijaya, the patient's mother.

She added that the hospital staff had left the terrace door open after drying the laundry.

"Due to their carelessness, my son has faced such a bad accident. Now the hospital authorities tell me they will try and save his life," she said.

Grave injuries
According to sources within NIMHANS, Prabhu's legs are seriously injured and he could be restricted to a wheelchair and may never walk again.

"He had also lost a lot of blood as a result of a serious head injury and would likely undergo an operation tomorrow," revealed the source.

When MiD DAY contacted the senior officials from NIMHANS, they refused to comment.

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