Bhopal: Ants crawled into the eyes of a dead body that was left unattended for over five hours in a government hospital in Shivpuri on Tuesday. Chief minister Kamal Nath was furious and ordered immediate action, leading to the suspension of two doctors, three nurses and two ward boys on Wednesday.
“Negligence by medical staff in this case is an indication of extreme insensitivity. It cannot be tolerated,” Nath tweeted.
The victim, 50-year-old Balchandra Lodhi, was a TB patient who died around 6am on Tuesday. However, hospital staff were unaware of his death till attendants of other patients in the ward screamed in horror on seeing a colony of ants crawling all over his face. His eyes lay opaque and open, and ants were gnawing into them.
Sources say that ward boys were informed about his death around 8am, but no one — not even doctors or nurses — responded. It’s alleged that a few nurses and a doctor glanced at the body from a distance and went away. Around 11am, someone managed to trace Lodhi’s wife Ramshree and informed her.
Local journalist Ranjeet Gupta, who was among the first on the scene, described the heartbreaking moment when Ramshree saw her husband dead — and in that condition. “She was weeping and trying to brush the ants off his face with the pallu of her sari. It was heart wrenching for all of us. Attendants of some other patients came forward to help take his body home, otherwise hospital authorities were not even ready to give an ambulance,” Gupta told TOI. They could have at least covered him in a bedsheet, she wailed.
“Ants were all over the place,” said Gupta, recalling the scene of horror. “As there was no attendant with the patient at that time, hospital staff should have shifted his body to the morgue immediately, but they didn’t.” Grisly pictures of ants in the dead man’s eyes and face, and Ramshree’s futile efforts to remove them have gone viral.
CM Nath expressed strong displeasure and tweeted: “Such incidents are a disgrace to humanity and cannot be tolerated. Inquiry has been ordered. Strong action will be initiated against those found accountable.”
It was only after this that Gwalior divisional commissioner took cognisance of the matter and ordered suspension of civil surgeon P K Khare, Dr Dinesh Rajput, three nurses and two ward boys who were on duty at the time of the incident.