Fire erupts in King George Hospital’s IRCU, Visakhapatnam

Prompt response of the hospital staff ensured quick containment of fire. The ventilator and its monitor were partially gutted.
Workers clean the premises after a fire accident at KGH in Visakhapatnam.
Workers clean the premises after a fire accident at KGH in Visakhapatnam.Photo I G Satyanarayana

VISAKHAPATNAM: A fire broke out in the Intensive Respiratory Care Unit (IRCU) on the 4th floor of the CSR Block in the King George Hospital (KGH) Monday midnight allegedly due to a malfunctioning ventilator. As a result, dense smoke engulfed the ward. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

The prompt response of the hospital staff ensured quick containment of the fire. The ventilator and its monitor were partially gutted. There were eight patients in the ward at the time of the incident. One of the patients’ attendants expressed immense relief at the swift response while emphasising the need for enhanced safety measures to prevent such accidents in the future.

Elaborating on the incident, KGH superintendent Shivanandh said as soon as smoke was detected, staff ensured all the patients were moved to other wards to receive uninterrupted medical attention. “Thankfully, we have properly equipped surgical and oncology ICUs adjacent to the IRCU. This enabled a timely transfer,” he explained.

It has been learnt that the ventilators in use were supplied during the COVID-19 pandemic through PM Cares and had been properly functioning without any issues.

Normalcy at KGH restored

“While any machine can encounter issues, our staff’s prompt response averted a potential disaster. As a precaution, we test the ventilators before using them for patients,” Shivanandh added.

Meanwhile, the fire temporarily disrupted services at the hospital. Normal operations were resumed shortly after the area was declared safe.

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