A newborn boy, only a few days old, died at a government hospital in India on Tuesday from injuries he sustained after rats chewed away at the fingers of his right hand, gnawed into his chest, left eye, and legs.
According to the Indian Telegraph, the baby was born on August 17 at a government hospital in Vijayawada in the southeast Indian state of Andhra Pradesh with respiratory problems. He was moved “in a critical condition” to the Government General Hospital in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, on August 20, and placed in an incubator at the neonatal ward, according to Medical Daily.
But he died after rodents entered the incubator and attacked him.
Sobbing, Chavali Nagaraju Babu of Vijayawada said that when he learned of the death of his newborn, the hospital superintendent told him not to worry “as he has another son.”
“This morning the hospital superintendent told me I need not worry as I have another son.”
Chavali Lakshmi, mother of the child, said she noticed early on Sunday morning, after the child was transferred to the incubator, that he was crying ceaselessly. But because the parents were not allowed near the incubator, she asked the nurses to check on the baby and determine why he was crying.
The nurses found that the baby had been attacked by rats inside the incubator and that they had chewed off the fingers of his right hand and chewed into his right eyes, chest, and legs.
“Early on Sunday morning, my son started crying. As we are not allowed to stand next to the incubator, I urged the nurses to check on him. By the time they did, rats had eaten away the fingers of his right hand and also the eye.”
The baby was rushed to the hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on Sunday and pronounced dead on Tuesday.
Lakshmi said she and her husband had complained to hospital staff about rats scurrying about in the hospital ward and expressed concern about their baby’s safety.
“They [hospital staff] are responsible for the death of my child. We had been complaining about the presence of rodents for some days, but they did not take any action. We want our child back.”
The hospital superintendent, Dr. Venugopala Rao, told the Hindu that he had called the hospital maintenance staff and asked them to repair the ceiling.
“The presence of rodents had come to our notice on Monday morning, and I asked the engineering wing to carry out repairs to the false ceiling, but unfortunately this morning, the rodents attacked the newborn again.”
The health authorities have reportedly ordered an investigation to determine the cause of the baby’s death.
[Images: YouTube/ABN Telugu; Wikimedia]