• The woman was  brought to the hospital after being found on the roadside
  • She died the next day and her body was moved to the mortuary
  • The hospital alerted the police to do an autopsy, but they failed to respond

In a shocking case of medical negligence, a woman's body was eaten by rats and ants after it was left unattended in a hospital mortuary.

The body of the unidentified woman, who died in a road accident, was abandoned in the mortuary for four days, reported India Today.

The woman, who was said to be in her early 30s, was brought to a private hospital in the Indian city of Uttar Pradesh on April 29 after she was found injured on the roadside. She was allegedly involved in a road accident and was in critical condition. Although she was given immediate treatment, the woman succumbed to her injuries the next day. Her body was sent to the hospital mortuary for a post-mortem examination.

The hospital authorities claim they duly alerted the local police about her death and sought post-mortem examination and other formalities as it was a road accident case. However, in alleged negligence on the part of the health department and police, there was no response from either side.

The body remained in the mortuary, as the identity of the deceased was not ascertained. 

However, hospital workers were alerted Tuesday after they noticed a foul smell emanating from the mortuary. A further check revealed the body in advanced stages of decomposition. By then, ants had already swarmed the body. A major part of it had been eaten by rats as well, Times Now said in a report.

The incident has triggered widespread outrage. According to A K Mishra, Chief Medical Officer of the district, he wasn't aware of the incident. "The hospital authorities say the body was kept in the mortuary for identification. If the police were informed about the patient’s death, then it was their duty to conduct the necessary procedure of disposal," he told Times Now. 

In a similar incident that happened last year, rats fed on another woman's body kept at a hospital in the Indian state of Punjab. The incident came to light when the woman's daughter came to collect the corpse. Upon noticing bloodstains on the body, the daughter approached the hospital authorities, who failed to give a satisfactory response. The relatives immediately checked the body to discover that rats had eaten away parts of its ear and face.

body Representational image Photo: Pixabay