RAWALPINDI – The face and hands of a new born baby was scratched by a rat soon after his birth at the Labour Room of Gynaecology Ward in the Holy Family Hospital (HFH), creating panic among the parents and hundreds of other patients.

The incident, that took place on Monday at 1:30am, has not only exposed the poor and unhygienic conditions in the Allied Hospitals (AHs) but also put a question mark on the performance of the heads of the hospitals. Stern action should be taken against the administration of the hospitals, demanded the relatives and other patients while talking to this scribe at HFH.

A relative of newly born baby, who was standing worried outside the Intensive Caring Unit of HFH, said that the infant was not seriously bitten by the rat and his condition was stable. “There can be nothing more shocking than the scene of a rat bruising the newborn and that too in a government run hospital,” he added.

Shakeel Ahmed, the first cousin of the newly born baby who transported the expected mother Raheela Bibi, wife of Toseen Ahmed from Thatta Khalil, Taxila, to HFH, also alleged the hospital staff and doctors of misbehaving and adopting rude attitude towards the mother of the new born baby.

He informed that after the delivery, the doctors shifted the mother to Post Operation Room and kept the baby at the nursery. Meanwhile, an attended informed the staff that a rat had scratched and bit the baby at the nursery, he said.

HFH Medical Superintendent (MS) Capt (retd) Dr Muhammad Fayyaz, when approached for his comments, confirmed the incident saying the rat had only brushed its paws to the face and right hand of the newly born baby, who was kept on a table by the nursing staff soon after his birth.

 “The newly born baby received no serious injury except slight scratches on his face and right hand caused by a mouse. The doctors injected the new born baby with Tetanus Toxide, Ampicilline and Gentacyn, the injections, after which the condition of the baby is stable,” he said. 

A four-member committee, comprised AMS Admin Dr Tariq Masood Khan Niazi, DMS Administration Dr Farooq Kasana, AMS Dr Asima Ahsan and Nursing Superintendent Prem Rose, has been constituted which would probe into the matter today (Tuesday) at 11am to determine the negligence of the attending staff that led to rat-bit, said MS.

Rebuffing a rumour that a new born baby had died of rat-biting two days ago, Dr Fayyaz said that no death had been caused by rat-bit rather a new born baby of another woman died on Sunday night.

When asked as to why did not the HFH administration conduct spray in the wards to kill the insects, he replied that the spray was carried out thrice a week to kill cockroaches, rats and other insects.

He was of view that the hygienic condition of the hospital in general was satisfactory and what led to the rat-bit case in the nursery would only be determined after the through inquiry by the four member committee.