- Parents allege negligence, incompetence, and lack of help for duty staff during the fire at Shine Hospital
- The family claimed that there was another short circuit at the ground floor of the hospital 24 hours before fire incident
- the kids’ parents allege that the duty staffs at the hospital were hesitant about shifting the infants to nearby hospitals
Hyderabad: Manasa’s baby was admitted for pneumonia four days back at Shine Children’s hospital. Manasa left her child at the neonatal ward, as she needed to ready her elder child for school the next day morning. Her brother D Naveen and the duty staff were there at the hospital to take care of the baby. However, no one expected what came next. In the early hours of Monday, Manasa had to wake up to the news of her baby’s death.
The four-month-old son of Manasa Naresh and police constable Naresh Dongari from Suryapet, died due to the mere negligence of the hospital staff. The family claimed that 24 hours before the fire incident, there was another short circuit at the ground floor of the hospital ( the hospital has not confronted their claim)
Naveen, the baby’s uncle, said, “Even though we raised an emergency alarm, the staff didn’t notice us. They said the smoke was normal and there was no need for panic.”
He was waiting outside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) when he received a foul smell from the ward. Naveen alerted the duty staff, but he had to take action since they neglected his alert. He rushed into the NICU, but, by that time, the fire had spread to all incubators in the unit. He further alerted the remaining bystanders who helped with the rescue.
His efforts may have helped others, but it was not the case for him. “By the time I reached his incubator, our baby was fully burned. There were burns from his chest to stomach, and on both legs and hands,” Naveen noted with a heavy heart.
While fire mishaps are very dangerous and often uncontrollable, some claim that the situation at this 19-year-old hospital could have been avoided. Reportedly, two days back, a short circuit occurred on the ground floor of the hospital. “Two days back, when a short circuit happened, we had asked the administration to take a look at it. However, they didn’t bother to care,” said Sudarshan, a bystander.
An electrical short circuit in the refrigerator is suspected of having led to the fire at NICU on the third floor. This incident has exposed the poor state of safety and preventive measures at Shine Hospital. A case has been registered.
Meanwhile, the kids’ parents allege that the duty staffs at the hospital were hesitant about shifting the infants to nearby hospitals. Sudarshan said, “Parents and relatives had to shift the kids, including the remaining five infants in NICU. Some infants didn’t currently have parents or relatives at the hospital. After the news spread, parents came searching for their children. Hospital staff couldn’t communicate if the infants were alive. A few parents rushed to Osmania mortuary to see if their child’s body reached there.”
According to the bystanders, the building had no fire safety equipment in place, nor a fire exit. Reportedly, at the time of the incident, the hospital only had three nurses on duty and two supporting staff. Besides, no staffs were present in the ward at the time of the incident.
“None of the staff helped us in rescuing the babies. They were stopping us from entering the unit. If we had listened to their words, then we would have lost the remaining five babies as well,” Sudarshan.
15-day-old baby Sugna from Nalgonda was another inmate of the NICU. She was shifted to Disha Hospital. Satheesh S, the infant’s father, said, “I couldn’t bear witness to my daughter suffocating due to smoke inhalation. I rushed her to Disha, which is the nearest hospital to Shine.”
Manohar Reddy from Disha Hospital, who treats the three children shifted from Shine, told NewsMeter, “Baby Sugna was admitted at Shine hospital two days back for pneumonia. Her condition is stable now. There are no burns on her body. However, we have put her under oxygen.”
Dr Manohar added that they have also received two more children from Shine, who were in the surrounding wards. “They suffered suffocation due to smoke inhalation. However, their condition is also stable now.” Two other infants, who were inside NICU, were shifted to Ankur hospital. Their condition is also reported to be stable.
At the time of the incident, there were 42 children admitted in the hospital. All of them were later shifted to other hospitals in Uppal, LB Nagar and Malakpet for treatment.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Etela Rajender has directed the health department to submit a report on the Shine Hospital incident within 24 hours. Besides, following this harrowing fire mishap, state Minister for Municipal Administration, KT Rama Rao has directed the GHMC to inspect the fire safety arrangements undertaken at all private hospitals in the city.
The municipality is likely to take up this robust move in the coming week. Hospitals failing safety norms will be issued a notice.