Regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Rats in Darbhanga ICU killed baby, says dad

Inquiry ordered after bite marks seen on body of 9-day-old who died of septicemia

Shuchismita Chakraborty Patna Published 30.10.18, 06:07 PM
Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital

Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital Source: Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital site

A nine-day-old baby died at of Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday morning and the infant’s father has complained to the district administration that his child was killed by rat bite, a charge the hospital has denied.

The infant was suffering from septicemia (blood infection) and was admitted at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the hospital on Monday morning in serious condition.


Darbhanga district magistrate in-charge Kari Prasad Mahto said that Phiran Chaupal, the father of the infant, has sought an inquiry.

“As per the complainant, the baby was admitted at DMCH on Monday morning and today (Tuesday) morning he found that the baby was dead and his hands seemed to have been nibbled by rats,” said Mahto, who seemed surprised how rats could enter the NICU wing of the government hospital.

Mahto said a four-member probe committee, which includes the district development commissioner, has been formed.

“The probe committee has been given two days’ time to submit its report. Action will be taken against guilty if the probe committee finds any,” he said.

Mahto said that Phiran, who is from Madhubani district, had addressed the complaint letter to the district magistrate who was likely to join on Wednesday. DMCH superintendent Dr Raj Ranjan Prasad didn’t answer calls from The Telegraph, but the medical college’s principal, Dr H.N. Jha, said the rat-bite claim was false.

“I have spoken to the DMCH superintendent and paediatrics department head of the hospital; they have told me that the infant was suffering from severe septicemia and he was in the last stage when he was admitted on Monday morning,” Jha said.

“An undertaking had also been taken from the parents as the survival chances of the child was minimum. The doctors have told me that the intravenous (IV) catheter that was used for administering fluid and antibiotic to the infant had traces of blood. Sometimes, it is difficult to ascertain the vein position and blood comes out while putting IV catheter. The parents of the child had seen the traces of blood in the IV catheter and had thought that some rats might have nibbled it due to which there was blood. Some political party workers further motivated them to continue creating ruckus to get compensation.”

Jha said that some people were trying to cash in on the statement of DMCH paediatrician Dr Om Prakash who had admitted there were rats in the hospital.

“Where you will not spot rats? In hospital, it is very obvious to find rats as there is dirt everywhere,” Jha said. “Dr Om Prakash’s statement has been twisted.”

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