The day after a patient’s bed and bandages caught fire from a piece of medical equipment, the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMER) formed a committee to probe the incident.
The doctors were trying to revive him after a cardiac arrest by giving him electric shocks, but the man died and the family alleged medical negligence.
Around 10.30pm on Monday, the bed and bandages of Ghinder Singh, 55, caught fire from the sparks of a cardiac defibrillator machine, which imparts mild electrical shocks to reactivate the heart. “There was nothing wrong with the equipment,” said Manju Wadwalkar, PGIMER spokesperson.
Singh, a resident of Doraha, 18 km from Ludhiana, had been undergoing treatment at the PGI for over a month. He had been suffering from intestinal cancer and liver cirrhosis and was in a critical condition. He had undergone a major surgery on Saturday and was recuperating when he developed complications.
“He suffered a cardiac arrest and it was decided to resuscitate him,” said Wadwalkar.
When sparks flew from the machine, Singh’s bed and the bandages on his body, which were wet with surgical spirit, caught fire. The fire was put out, but he had already died due to the cardiac arrest, said Wadwalker.
Singh’s family, however, alleged the fire broke out due to a short circuit in the ventilator. “The PGI staff escaped and we had to bring the fire under control,” said Ramneek, a nephew of Singh.
"My uncle died due to the negligence of the hospital staff," said Virender, another relative of Singh. A fact-finding committee under Dr RK Sharma, head of the department of plastic surgery, has been constituted to probe the accident.