Fire breaks out in Services Hospital’s CCU

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LAHORE: Yet another fire broke out at the Services Hospital on Tuesday, this time in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU), suspending emergency services for more than two hours, Pakistan Today has learnt.
This was the third such incident of electric short circuiting at the Services Hospital as the first two took place in the ICU and Bano Meraj Surgical Operation Theatre. Although, the magnitude of the fire and the ensuing damage was not as much as the earlier incidents when equipment worth millions was gutted but according to Rescue 1122 officials, equipment worth Rs 0.67 million were damaged due to the fire.
Rescue officials said that they received a call from the hospital at 9:55am and an ambulance reached there in two minutes followed by a fire fighting van. They said that electric short circuiting had caused the fire in the oxygen supply and electricity ducts in the CCU.
The CCU houses 18 beds in all, with eight beds in the section where the fire broke out. Precious equipment such as cardiac monitors and oxygen duct were damaged. According to eye witnesses, the fire broke out at around 9:45am in one section of the CCU while patients and doctors were still inside.
Panic spread in the entire unit and patients were immediately evacuated. Talking to Pakistan Today, a patient’s attendant said, “Fire erupted in the duct carrying oxygen and electricity wires right above the patient’s head. The flames erupted within no time and all were evacuated immediately. Thankfully, no casualties were reported in the incident.”
Hafiz Idrees, an elderly patient said, “I was on a wheel chair and my son was taking me to the toilet when the incident took place. Initially smoke came out then freaking sounds were followed by flames, all happening in a short while. I was lucky already being on the wheel chair. We were taken to other wards but had to faced space shortage but were shifted back after a couple of hours.”
The 54-bed medical emergency was also vacated after the fire broke out in the CCU, which is adjacent to it in the hospital basement. The hospital emergency also remained suspended for more than two hours, as a large number of people kept waiting for emergency slips. Saleem Akhter, an elderly woman admitted in the medical emergency, said that there was a lot of rush at the slip counter in the morning because the slips were not being issued.
“My daughter was groaning in pain and just wanted a bed, but doctors refused to attend her unless we get a slip. We reached the hospital at around 10am but got a slip at around 2pm,” she added. An on duty staff member told Pakistan Today that gas leakage had caused the fire. “Rescue officials reached the hospital soon after the incident and managed the whole operation very well. Attendants themselves shifted their patients out in the open along with their beds,” she said.
To a question, she said that a few patients were discharged, while the rest have been shifted to the other section of the CCU. She said that only patients in a critical condition were admitted during the operation, as there was a separate ward for such patients.
Services Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Javed said that the central oxygen supply pipe had leaked and caused a fire. He said the that leakage continued even after the fire had been put out and then the main oxygen supply had to be blocked.
He said that it was just an accident and did not take place due to faulty equipment, as the unit was equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities. Punjab Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad taking notice of the fire incident formed an inquiry committee to probe into the matter.
The committee consisting of Punjab Health Additional Secretary Masood Mukhtar, Professor Dr Khawar Ali of KEMU, PIC bi