RAWALPINDI, Nov 26: It is unpleasant to find hygienic conditions bad in a hospital but absolutely horrible to think a rat would find way to the crib of a newborn and bite him.

That is what happened in the Holy Family Hospital (HFH) on Monday.

The parents of the newborn and other patients protested against the incident and demanded that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif should take notice of the matter.

Rahila Bibi, wife of Toseen Ahmed, was brought to the HFH from Taxila on Sunday night where she delivered the baby. Later, the newborn was shifted to the nursery where the incident took place at 1:30am on Monday.

Shahnaz Bibi, an attendant of Rahila, said the infant was not seriously bitten and his condition was stable.

She said after delivery, the doctors shifted the mother to the recovery room and kept the baby in the nursery.

In the meantime, the attendant of another patient informed the staff that a rat had bitten the newborn. It all happened due to negligence of the staff and doctors, Shahnaz alleged.

When contacted, Dr Mohammad Hassan of the gynae ward confirmed the incident. He said the rodent had only scratched its paws on the face and right hand of the baby who was kept on a table by the nursing staff soon after his birth.

“The newborn received no serious injury except slight scratches on his face and the right hand. The doctors injected the baby with tetanus toxide, ampicilline and gentacyn injections. The condition of the baby is stable,” he added.

A four-member committee, comprising AMS administration Dr Tariq Masood Khan Niazi, DMS administration Dr Farooq Kasana, AMS Dr Asima Ahsan and nursing superintendent Prem Rose, has been constituted which will investigate the negligence of the attending staff on Tuesday.

However, Salman Raffique, an adviser to the chief minister on health, ordered constitution of a two-member committee to investigate the matter.

The committee will comprise Executive District Officer Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal and Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) medical superintendent Dr Shoaib Khan. It has been asked to identify the officials responsible for the incident and submit a report within 48 hours.

Dr Mussadiq Khan, the principal of the Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC), told Dawn that the committee would consider two points. Why the staff had left the newborn unattended and how the incident occurred.

In reply to a question, he said fumigation was carried out in the hospital regularly. He claimed that the hygienic condition at the HFH was, in general, satisfactory. “What led to the incident would be determined only after the two committees have completed their inquiries,” he added.

Updated Nov 27, 2012 12:15am

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