AIIMS Trauma Centre shuts emergency careUpdated: Mar 26, 2019 07:00 IST
All emergency services at the All India institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS) Trauma Centre have been shut after a major fire broke out at the operation theatre complex in the hospital on Sunday.
The Trauma Centre is one of only two such standalone centres in the capital and receives around 200 emergency cases each day, most of them critical.
While AIIMS did not issue an official statement on when the centre is expected to open for services again, hospital officials said that the damage was extensive.
“As the entire operation theatre complex that house five operation theatres was affected in the fire, it might take long before the facility is restored,” said a hospital staff, requesting anonymity, as the person isn’t authorised to speak to media.
From Monday, the hospital stopped admitting new emergency cases and some of the the in-patients that require surgery are being transferred to the main AIIMS complex.
With no official statement, patients were left confused as to what to do next. All new cases landing up at the hospital emergency are being referred to other hospitals.
The closed white main gates greeted ambulances that brought patients to the hospital on Monday.
“Almost all patients who come here need some surgical intervention, so we have to tell all the patients to go to the neighbouring Safdarjung hospital,” said a hospital official, on condition of anonymity. As central air conditioning ducts, oxygen and other supply lines have reportedly been affected in the fire, the hospital may not be able to receive new accident and emergency cases for some weeks, he said.
Manish Kumar had brought his grandfather to the trauma centre from Meerut on Friday after he took a fall. “He needs a hip replacement surgery. But, the doctors told us that the operation theatres are not working because of the fire on Sunday. They said that the surgery would happen in a couple of days,” said Kumar.
Shanti Devi is also waiting for the brain surgery of her son. Both her sons, Dileep and Kamal, were hit by a truck while returning from work on Tuesday near Mithapur. The family travelled almost 20 km to bring them to the AIIMS trauma centres. “We know that this is the best hospital for accidents. In fact, my elder son has already recovered and has been sent home with dressings and medicines. But my younger son had a head injury and is not conscious, doctors say he will need surgery,” she said.
The family was sitting in the waiting area outside the hospital’s emergency when they saw smoke coming out of the building on Sunday. “There was a lot of commotion, people were running here and there. The patients were shifted immediately. My son was in the floor just above the fire, thankfully he had been discharged. Many patients are now sleeping on gurneys in the corridor,” said Shanti Devi.
There was no loss to life as all the patients were moved to safety.
Patients from four floors (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th) that house private wards have been moved to other departments. According to the hospital staff around 25 patients were moved to safety, mainly accommodated in the emergency department.
“No patient was transferred to main AIIMS as the situation didn’t arise. By 11pm the smoke had subsided, so we moved patients back. Only three people had to be moved to the main AIIMS for inhaling carbon monoxide, of which two have been discharged. The third is also stable,” the staff said.
Fire officials had blamed a shortcircuit for the fire.