Punjab: 5 fire incidents in liver ICU; PGI administration wants to find out if it’s ‘deliberate’

The official said that they were now analysing the duty rosters to see the staff which was posted when these incidents were reported.

Written by Adil Akhzer | Chandigarh | Published:December 23, 2016 4:05 am
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FIVE FIRE incidents in the last few months, including two this week, inside liver intensive care unit (ICU) has set the alarm bells ringing in the administration of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER). Alarmed by the frequent incidents, the PGI administration is now taking measures to prevent such incidents and also investigating the actual cause of all the fire incidents.

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The latest fire incident was reported on Wednesday evening inside the doctors’ changing room of the ICU, forcing the administration to find out if these regular incidents was a “deliberate attempt” by some insiders. The fire incidents have now raised questions about the safety of the patients admitted to the ICU.

Sources in PGI told Chandigarh Newsline that in Wednesday’s fire, there was evidence which hinted at some persons having smoked inside the room which could have triggered the fire. “There are two possibilities about the cause: either it is sheer negligence of the staff deployed, or it could be a deliberate attempt by someone,” said a senior PGI official.

The official said that they were now analysing the duty rosters to see the staff which was posted when these incidents were reported. “We are checking the rosters to see if the same staff members were posted when the incidents took place. Head of department of hepatology too is questioning the staff at his level,” said the official, adding that the issue was becoming very “serious” for the administration because the fog causes smog in the ICU and on many occasions, they had to evacuate the patients in the area.

Sources said that the PGI’s hospital administration had also written to the institute’s director that an external inquiry should be conducted to find the causes of the these fire incidents.

Former PGI director and head, department of hepatology, Dr Yogesh Chawla, said that the repeated fire incidents were “unusual” and the department would shift the junior level staff deputed at the liver ICU. “This shouldn’t happen. We are also planning to install CCTV cameras at the ICU,” he said.

The institute’s Public Relations Nodal Officer Dr Ashok Kumar said preventive measures were being reinforced to prevent such incidents. “An investigation is being carried out to find out under what circumstances these incidents took place,” he said.

On why repeated fire incidents are taking place at the ICU, the institute’s officiating director Dr Subhash Verma said the inquiry committee was looking into the issue. “We are upgrading fire safety measures at the ICU,” he said.

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