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July 16, 2011

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Woman bitten by a bat seeks settlement

A new mother staying in a local maternity health care facility was attacked by a bat that flew in through an open window in May, and now she wants the facility to pay her medical bill and compensate her for mental anguish.

The woman identified by the surname Ji said she received a rabies vaccination and stopped breastfeeding her baby due to the incident.

She is seeking 17,000 yuan (US$2,632) in total compensation from the facility. Ji had paid Shanghai Angeraly Maternity Center 21,700 yuan for care for herself and the newborn baby.

The center denies fault, saying it's a natural event and has agreed only to pay 1,000 yuan, covering Ji's rabies vaccines and transport cost.

Ji moved into the center on April 14 after delivering her baby. She said she felt a sudden pain on her lips while sleeping there about 3:30am on May 10 and found a bat flying inside the room after turning on the light.

"I called nursing staff immediately," Ji told the Xinmin Evening News. "After they finally caught the bat, my lips were seriously swollen. There was a kind of numbness from the lips to my throat and a red rash on my arms and neck."

Ji was sent to the Xuhui District Central Hospital, where doctors gave her a series of rabies shots as a precaution and urged her to stop breastfeeding for a month.

Ji said she worried that stopping breastfeeding for that long could impact her milk production.

Doctors from Huashan Hospital said the rash was caused by an allergy, while they suggested Ji not take anti-allergy medication since she was a new mother.

Ji wants the maternity center compensate her for medical bills, her husband's transport cost between Suzhou and Shanghai, nutrition fees, cost of one month of baby formula and 10,000 yuan for mental anguish.


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