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Fire at PGI: When a mother was rushed around with abdomen half open

On Wednesday night, fire broke out in one of the six OTs of the Emergency at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). A day after, a staffer recounts the horror.

punjab Updated: Apr 13, 2018 21:13 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Fire at PGI,PGIMER,cHANDIGARH
She had just delivered a girl when she found herself lying amid fire and smoke. (HT File )

She had just delivered a baby when she found herself lying amid fire and smoke. With her abdomen half open, the woman undergoing C-section was rushed from one operation theatre (OT) to another for half an hour before her stitches could be closed.

On Wednesday night, fire broke out in one of the six OTs of the Emergency at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). A day after, a staffer recounts the horror.

“Three OTs were operational at the time. In OT-3, a woman had just delivered a baby and doctors were stitching her abdomen. In OT-4, doctors had performed a vascular surgery; and in OT-7, nephrectomy was underway,” said one of the technicians, not wishing to be named.

Not panicking, the technician assisted others to move the woman to a trolley and shifted her to OT-5, but within minutes, it too got engulfed with smoke.

The technician was in OT-4 when a colleague rushed inside and called her out.

“When I followed her to the OT-3, I saw an unconscious woman with her abdomen half open lying on the operation table and on oxygen support. The room was engulfed in smoke and flames were just a few feet from her,” she said.

Not panicking, the technician assisted others to move the woman to a trolley and shifted her to OT-5, but within minutes, it too got engulfed with smoke.

While another colleague took to the woman to another ward, the technician rushed back to assist other colleagues evacuate patients from OT-4 and 7. “The patient in OT-4 had been operated upon; so there was no risk. But in OT-7, the operation was still going on. The patient’s abdomen was open and we covered it with cloth and moved him to another ward,” she said.

Later, the technician went to look for the woman, who was now in another section of the hospital. “Doctors had been monitoring her and we assisted them in closing the stitches. The entire process took at least 30 minutes.”

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 10:45 IST