10/01/2017 10:48 AM IST | Updated 10/01/2017 11:18 AM IST

Why This Doctor At A Thane Hospital Stopped A Surgery Midway To Film A Cockroach


Yves Herman / Reuters

A doctor in a super-speciality hospital in Thane, near Mumbai, interrupted a surgery when he spotted a cockroach in the operating theatre (OT). While his assistants carried on with the procedure to repair the fractured leg of a 45-year-old man, Dr Sanjay Baranwal, senior orthopaedic surgeon, took a video of the creature for future reference, according to a report in Mumbai Mirror.

Cockroaches are ubiquitous in Indian life and make appearances at homes, in public places — sometimes even in airline meals. But to find one crawling about an OT is not only scandalous but potentially life-threatening for the infection it can cause to the patients being operated there.

The presence of cockroaches at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital are apparently not unusual. Dr Baranwal claimed to have made several complaints to the authorities last month about the menace. Even the dean of the hospital admitted these insects could have got in attracted by the scrap material lying between the OT and the intensive care units. However, she did not comment on the video shared by Dr Baranwal to highlight the sordid condition of healthcare in the institution.

According to rules mandated by the World Health Organisation, OTs have to be disinfected and fumigated at least once a week. In the 500-bed Thane hospital, only one of the four modular OTs is operational due to an acute shortage of staff for maintenance. The effect of such neglect has been showing for a while. According to Dr Baranwal, about 25% of the patients at the hospital ended up catching infections after undergoing surgery.

As per the latest update, the OT in question still hasn't been fumigated, since Dr Baranwal sent around the cockroach video to the hospital authorities.

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