Rats make life difficult in Sassoon neo-natal ICU

Close on the heels of several patients showing symptoms of leptospirosis after being admitted to Sassoon General Hospital last week for treatment of various ailments, some new mothers with infants in the neo-natal intensive care unit claim that rats are having a free run of the place. A visit to wards in the hospital revealed traps were being used to ease the rodent menace.

 The intensive care unit holds incubators and other life support equipment and houses infants facing medical complications. With leptospirosis rearing its head in the hospital earlier, the claims made by around 35 mothers adds credibility to reports that the hospital was facing a rat infestation.

When this reporter visited the intensive care unit, it was observed that rattraps had been placed at various points in the congested wards to combat the situation.

Recipe for disaster: People at the neo-natal intensive care unit in Sassoon General Hospital

An elderly ward staff member said that patients and the staff members have been facing the rat menace since the past few months.

“We have all been complaining to the officials about this nuisance since the past few months, but it has been in vain. Finally, we ourselves bought rat cages so that we could at least trap a few of them,” she said.

Surgery was postponed for some patients admitted at the Infosys building of the hospital last week after doctors ran blood tests on them after finding their temperature abnormally high. The blood test results showed that they had been exposed to leptospirosis, which is transmitted through rat urine.

A new mother in her early 30s, who is admitted in the neo-natal unit, said that whenever she and the other women like her went out of the ward to feeds their babies’, rats would enter their ward and nibble away on food items kept there.

Another woman said she was unable to sleep at night as rats ran around the ward.

Medical Superintendent Dr D G Kulkarni admitted that the rats were a menace in the hospital. “We have agreed there is a rat menace in the hospital. We are working on effective remedies for this,” Kulkarni said.

The five-member inquiry committee set up to study the ground realities at the hospital, was expected to submit its report yesterday, but has decided to put submit it at a later date.  

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