Woman dies during evacuation as fire erupts in Services Hospital

LAHORE:            -        The incident of fire eruption in Surgical Emergency of Services Hospital Lahore due to short circuiting on Saturday morning allegedly resulted in death of a female patient and closure of the emergency ward.

According to details, an immediate evacuation of patients began after fire broke out in the Emergency Ward. Under the supervision of Principal SIMS/SHL Prof Dr Mahmood Ayaz and Medical Superintendent Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, the administration, doctors and nurses evacuated the patients and shifted to other wards.

However, the eye-witnesses told that the patients suffered due to lack of oxygen supply, which endangered their lives during the evacuation process. A 50-year-old patient, Shamim, lost her life due to lack of oxygen supply in Medical Emergency during the process of shifting. “We kept pleading the administration to provide oxygen to our patient, but they did not pay heed to our pleas and the patient expired in the process,” alleged Iqbal Bhatti, brother of the deceased patient, while informing the media on the occasion.

However, the administration denied the allegation, saying that no casualty took place during the evacuation process.

Earlier, it was informed that an incidence of fire took place in the New Operation Theatre (NOT) of Services Hospital, Lahore on Saturday at 11.15 am. The NOT Sister In-charge reported the incident to the Additional Medical Superintendent, Services Hospital, Lahore at about 11.25 am that a fire incidence took place in the changing room of NOT, Services Hospital, Lahore most probably due to short circuiting. The administration immediately called the RESCUE 1122, which reached the hospital right away to begin the rescue operation and putting out fire. The fire was controlled successfully by the rescue team after some effort.

The Principal and Medical Superintendent and Professor Waris Farook, Prof Imran and Prof Tayyaba Waseem and Nursing Superintendent Fazeelat Lal rushed to the site of the incident to conduct the evacuation process. Due to dense smoke spread at fire site, the patients were immediately evacuated from the Medical, Surgical Emergency, NOT and shifted to Surgical ICU, Surgical Unit-I, Surgical Special Unit, Medical Unit-I and Medical Unit-IV Services Hospital, Lahore.

At the time of the incident, two operations were going on in the affected operation theatre, both the patients were safely evacuated under anaesthesia to main operation theatre. The operations were resumed and successfully completed.

Two healthcare workers and two doctors suffered from inhalational injury and were admitted to the Surgical Unit-I, where they were examined by Pulmonology Department. The Principal Prof Dr Mahmood Ayaz examined all the patients and later confirmed to the media that they all were out of danger. “No causality due to fire and smoke occurred,” he told the media.

Earlier, he said, our first target was to safely evacuate all the patients besides ensuring safety of the doctors, nurses and hospital staff after the fire incident. He said that no casualty occurred during the fire incident and subsequent evacuation of the patients.

He further informed that the boiler remained safe but the damage assessment was going on. “The repair of electrical wiring has been done and electricity restored and repair of oxygen piping and compressor is going on,” he informed, adding that once the oxygen supply is restored to the satisfaction of our biomedical engineer, the emergency will be restored.

The SHL Medical Superintendent Dr Iftikhar Ahmad informed that a committee had been constituted to investigate the cause of fire and damage assessment.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar took notice of the fire incident in Services Hospital and directed Health Minister Prof Dr Yasmin Rashid and Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department (SHC&MED) Nabeel A. Awan to investigate the fire incident from all aspects and submit the report within 24 hours. He also directed the SHL administration to take proper care and provide best possible treatment to the patients after they had been evacuated from the Emergency Ward and shifted to other wards.