Mumbai: Rat gnaws at ICU patient’s eye at Rajawadi Hospital
Rajawadi Hospital

A patient on a ventilator in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the civic-run Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar was found to have been bitten by a rat on June 21 midnight. Mayor Kishori Pednekar confirmed the development and asked the hospital administration to take serious note of the incident. Following which, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has ordered an inquiry. Doctors said that the injuries were ‘superficial’ and the patient's eye has not been affected.

Two days ago, Srinivas Yellapa, a 24-year-old patient, was admitted to Rajawadi Hospital following respiratory issues. After being admitted to the hospital, he was also diagnosed with brain and liver damage and was then shifted to the ICU. However, on Tuesday morning, when his relatives saw blood coming out of the patient's eye, they rushed to the administration. After examining his eyes, it revealed that a rat had bitten the lower part of the eye.

“When I came to see my brother, there was blood below his left eye. I called the doctor and asked them to check. After examination, doctors informed that a rat had eaten the lower part of the eye. They called the ophthalmologist to check whether the rat had damaged the eye or only the lower part of the left eye. Meanwhile, the patient had undergone an eye surgery at the hospital, where he suffered rat bites,” said Yashoda Yellapa, his sister.

Dr Vidya Thakur, dean, Rajawadi Hospital, said such an incident should not have happened. The injuries of the patient are superficial, still it could have been avoided. There is no threat to the eye and the injuries are being treated at our hospital.

“The ward (where the incident took place) is on the ground floor. Some people dump garbage in hospital premises despite being told not to do so. It could have attracted rodents there,” she said.

This is the third such incident reported in the last four years at the civic-run hospitals. In 2017, a rat had nibbled one of the patients and gnawed the feet of another patient at the hospital. Another incident was reported in April 2018, when a 27-year-old comatose patient from Thane had alleged that his right eye was nibbled by a rat at the civic-run Bal Thackeray Trauma Care Centre in Jogeshwari. However, the hospital authorities refuted the allegations.

Mayor Kishori Pednekar said no injuries were reported during the examination. However, it was observed that the patient was bitten by a rat under the eyelid. This type is serious. “Although the ICU is on the ground floor, it is closed on all sides. As it was raining, the rat must have gone in through the door. I have directed the hospital authorities to take necessary care of the patients and no such incident should be repeated further. Moreover, constant watch should be kept on the patient in the ICU,” said Pednekar.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, said they have ordered an inquiry in the rat incident and have asked for a report with immediate effect. “Measures are being taken to prevent such incidents from happening again,” he said.

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