A 70-year-old paralysed man on ventilator in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a government hospital here was allegedly attacked by rats who nibbled on his ears, nose, lips and cheeks while hospital staff slept, hospital sources said.
The authorities at the government hospital have launched an investigation into the incident. The man, whose identity was withheld, was unable to move due to paralysis when the incident took place early Tuesday at the Mathura Das Mathur Hospital.
"The hospital staff - from doctors to security guards - go to sleep before 11 p.m., leaving the patients on their own," a doctor in the hospital told IANS on condition of anonymity.
He said the man was found seriously injured Tuesday morning by his family members.
"He had injuries on his ears, nose, lips and cheeks. Besides, the ventilator tubes were also found chopped. A hole was found in the ICU wall through which rats were seen moving in and out," said the doctor.
The hospital authorities have not confirmed that rats nibbled the man's face.
"We have set up a three-member committee to look into the case. The panel has been asked to give us a report at the earliest. They started their investigations today (Wednesday) and we hope to have a report by evening or tomorrow (Thursday) morning," Arvind Mathur, the hospital superintendent, told IANS.
"We have also asked for steps for rodent control by professionals," Mathur said.
He said they were investigating whether the patient was really bit by the rats.
Sources at the hospital said authorities had closed the hole through which the rats were coming into the ICU rooms. Rat killer medicines have also been used.
The rat menace in government hospitals in Jodhpur is not new. In 2009, an infant died allegedly after some rats attacked him soon after birth at the Ummed Hospital here.