Swift inter-departmental coordination ensured that even as a major fire raged, AIIMS registered two C-section deliveries and provided uninterrupted care to at least 18 newborns in the ICU and four on ventilator.
Around 80 patients of the gynaecology department were shifted from the emergency ward to the Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences (RPC) after the fire broke out in the teaching block, said Dr Aswini Behera, a senior resident at RPC.
Another senior resident said an ICU of paediatric surgery, which had 10 patients including one on ventilator, and a paediatric medicine ward, with eight newborns, including three on ventilator, were also shifted to RPC due to smoke Saturday.
Behera told The Indian Express that ward IV A of RPC, which had 36 eye patients, was urgently vacated to make space for expecting mothers. The eye patients were accommodated elsewhere in the department.
“Further, 12 trolley beds were put up outside Ward IV A and the daycare centre at RPC was equipped for paediatric surgery. Another ward, which had eye patients scheduled for surgeries, was vacated after requesting patients, who did not need constant medical attention, to go home temporarily,” she said.
The lack of an internet connection was a major challenge as doctors struggled to find out available beds and other facilities.
“The nurses in the eye department put in extra hours and nurses from gynaecology also chipped in. For the first time in the history of RPC, two children were born in its operation theatre,” said Behera.
By Sunday morning, the patients were shifted back to the emergency department in the main building. A scheduled conference on Glaucoma took place at RPC, where surgeries were also carried out as usual.
“Staff worked through the night to ensure that the department’s own scheduled activities are not affected,” Behera said.
AIIMS said in a statement that OPD and emergency services will continue to run normally and scheduled surgeries will also be performed Monday.
“The AIIMS director met with all the heads of departments and administrative staff to review patient care services. A committee has been set up to restore full functionality of services…in PC teaching block. Additional staff has also been deployed for guiding the patients. Meeting also reviewed existing fire safety arrangements…” it said.