Open House: What steps should PGI take to ensure compliance with fire safety protocol, protection of patients? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What steps should PGI take to ensure compliance with fire safety protocol, protection of patients?

Replace wiring at hospital; train staff to deal with fire incidents

Open House: What steps should PGI take to ensure compliance with fire safety protocol, protection of patients?

Gutted area of C-block of Nehru Hospital at the PGI in Chandigarh. - File photo



In incidents of fire, evacuating patients needs to be a priority. Fire safety drills need to be conducted at the hospital. The number of flammable chemicals needs to be taken care of. Patients or family members of the patients who smoke put themselves and everyone else at risk. Because of this, smoking on hospital premises should be banned. The hospital management needs to develop an emergency protocol to understand the risks at the facility and devise devices to avoid them.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar


Insurance for staff, faculty mandatory

The insurance of patients and staff should be made mandatory, and adequate arrangements should be made in advance to avoid any accidents. Factors at the hospital that may cause fire, such as computers, batteries, electric wires and switches and other electronic devices, should be checked and maintained regularly. The fire alarm system at the hospital should be up-to-date to avoid any major accidents.

Kirpal Singh, Chandigarh


Management needs to be responsible

When a failure occurs, the management committee of the hospital needs to take responsibility, and one primarily needs to see if adequate arrangements were made by the management committee to address issues of safety or not. Thereupon, senior management needs to review the compliance, and external agency audits can ensure that gaps are being addressed.

Sapna Sharda, Chandigarh


Comprehensive review of safety norms needed

To ensure the safety of patients and staff at the PGI, a comprehensive review of safety protocols must be conducted, involving experts in fire safety and healthcare infrastructure. Implementing regular safety drills, upgrading fire detection and suppression systems, and establishing clear evacuation procedures are crucial. Additionally, fostering a culture of safety awareness through training and accountability can mitigate risks and uphold regulatory standards, ensuring a secure environment for all within the institution.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali


Multipronged safety approach required

The PGI needs a multipronged safety approach. Regular fire drills with staff simulating patient evacuation are crucial. Invest in advanced fire suppression systems and fireproof building materials. Conduct thorough electrical inspections and implement stricter protocols for equipment maintenance. Prioritise the complete segregation of electrical lines from oxygen supplies to prevent disastrous interactions. These measures, coupled with a zero-tolerance policy for safety violations, will fortify PGI’s defences and prioritise the wellbeing of everyone within its walls.

Amanjot Kaur, Mohali


Conduct fire safety audits

To safeguard patients and staff at PGI, immediate action is needed. Conduct fire safety audits by external experts to identify and rectify lapses. Invest in advanced fire suppression systems and staff training in emergency protocols. Revamp infrastructure to segregate electrical lines from oxygen supplies, a recurring fire hazard. Prioritise transparent communication with staff and patients, fostering a culture of safety awareness.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali


Invest in fire suppression systems

Implement regular fire drills with staff trained in emergency protocols. Conduct comprehensive electrical and oxygen line inspections to identify and rectify hazards. Invest in advanced fire suppression systems and create designated, well-ventilated areas for UPS batteries. Prioritise transparency by publicly sharing investigation reports and implementing all recommended safety upgrades.

Gurpreet Kaur, Mohali


Training on handling fire emergencies

Ensuring fire safety in hospitals is paramount. Conduct fire evacuation drills periodically to train staff and patients on safe exits and procedures. Invest in fire-resistant materials for construction and ensure proper ventilation systems in hospital buildings. Develop clear emergency protocols, including patient evacuation routes and assembly points. Install and maintain fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and alarms. Train healthcare workers to handle fire emergencies calmly and efficiently.

Sahibpreet Singh Mohali


Douse minor fires swiftly to avoid major mishaps

The recent fire at the PGI, especially at the operation theatre, is a matter of concern for the authorities concerned. It is high time that fire safety procedures are followed as per the SOP (standard operating procedures) of the fire department. Fire extinguishers at all hospitals need to be kept at all the vulnerable points, and the staff should be trained to douse minor fires to avoid major accidents.

Col TBS Bedi (retd), Mohali


Trained officials should be deployed

The increased fire incidents warrant more precautions to be taken. Trained officials should be deployed at the hospital to douse any incidents of fire on the premises. The old wiring at the buildings needs to be replaced with modern wiring. More expert staff should be employed at vulnerable places on the hospital premises.

NPS Sohal


Keep electrical system in check

Fire in the patient wards has become routine in PGI. A one-time check of the entire electrical system may reduce the number of incidents of fire in the hospital. Modern electrical appliances at the hospital keep drawing power from the old wiring at the hospital. The management needs to work on getting modern wiring installed at the hospital to prevent such incidents. An independent committee with fire and electrical experts must be created to ascertain other reasons that may be causing such incidents and propose solutions.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali


Scientific firefighting systems required

PGI urgently requires decongestion of its storage and battery areas, with a focus on monitoring unattended spaces prone to sparking. Implementing a scientific firefighting system with proactive measures to identify potential fire hazards is essential. This approach safeguards patients, doctors, nurses and valuable medical equipment from any fire-related risks. Prioritising safety ensures a secure environment for all within the PGI premises.

Vijay Katyal


Conduct third party fire safety audit

The PGI authorities should get the fire safety audit done by a third party in all the buildings of the hospital as soon as possible and implement the recommended corrective measures with immediate effect. There should be a SOP to carry out preventive maintenance to minimise the chances of any mishap. The erring and negligent officials should be held accountable and removed from service.

KC Rana, Chandigarh


Ensure compliance with safety norms

The recent fire incidents at the PGI raise concerns over safety standards being followed at the hospital. To protect patients and staff, the PGI must conduct facility inspections, regularly train staff, maintain equipment, upgrade electrical systems, test evacuation plans, and enhance fire safety awareness. Ensuring strict compliance with safety regulations will safeguard against future incidents and protect lives.

Prithvee Yakhmi, Chandigarh


Organise training sessions for staff

The recent fire incident at the PGI showcases the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities. The Electrical Department at PGI should conduct a monthly audit of the electrical equipment and wires at the hospital. The Chandigarh Fire Department should submit a report on the fire extinguishers installed in PGI. A training session can be organised for the PGI staff to handle fire incidents. The security staff should be given special sessions to evacuate patients and attendants in a fire emergency.

Sunny Dhaliwal, Chandigarh


Maintain firefighting equipment at hospitals

The back-to-back incidents of fire at the PGI are a matter of concern. The PGI management and other government hospitals must maintain the firefighting equipment in serviceable condition. The staff should be trained to douse fire at the premises, and fire alarms and sprinklers should be set up. Old wiring should be replaced to avoid short circuits.

MR Bhateja, Naya Gaon


Laxity of the authorities Keep tab of safety norms in

It is the responsibility of the government to keep tabs on fire safety norms in all buildings. It is the laxity of the main authority that proper fire safety measures were not maintained, which caused the fire at the operation theatre at the PGI. Emergency fire alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency exits and trained staff to deal with such casualties should be there.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali


Modern safety equipment needed

The latest, state-of-the-art fire safety management systems should be installed at the PGI to avoid such incidents. Faulty air conditioners, air conditioning, and electrical systems are the reasons behind such fire incidents. Thus, all the safety parameters should be adhered to when installing electrical appliances in hospitals.

Vijay Shukla, Chandigarh


Overhaul electrical system on premises

It couldn’t have gotten worse for a patient undergoing valve repair surgery when an operation theatre went up in flames on the fourth floor at the advanced cardiac centre in PGI on Saturday afternoon. This is the fourth such fire incident at the premier health institute since October 2023. The incident once again brings to light the fact that the institute needs a complete overhaul of its electricity wiring and to undertake a proper load assessment, especially when new equipment is added to critical areas like ICUs and OTs.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali


Maintain electric appliances, wiring

Repeated incidents of fire in such a prestigious medical organisation is a matter of concern. Without doubt, poor maintenance of electric appliances and the wiring is a major reason behind such incidents. Therefore, the appliances and machines at the hospital need to be checked on a regular basis.

Surinder Paul Wadhwa, Mohali


Replace electric wiring at hospitals

The Engineering Department needs to renovate the electric wiring at the hospital, and the Fire Department needs to check all the buildings to check for loopholes and install fire extinguishers in all the sensitive areas of the hospital.

Savita Kuthiala


Train hospital staff on dealing with fire

Fire prevention systems such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers must be installed by the Chandigarh Administration to prevent future incidents. The staff should also be apprised of fire safety procedures, evacuation protocols, and the proper use of firefighting equipment.

Anita K Tandon, Mundi Kharar


MC needs to organise awareness campaigns

Gross violations of regulations governing fire safety have been observed by the PGI. The Chandigarh MC needs to carry out a fire audit of PGI and all the hospitals under its jurisdiction as soon as possible to mitigate fire incidents. There has to be awareness campaigns by the administration to sensitise the public, staff of hospitals, and owners regarding the existing fire prevention norms.

Dr Anil Kumar Yadav, Chandigarh


Install fireproof insulation at hospital

With the recent fire incidents at the PGI, questions over adherence to regulatory safety standards loom large. The Chandigarh Administration should take the necessary steps to ensure the protection of patients and staff. There should be fireproof insulation in the hospitals. The hospitals should be equipped with fire extinguishers with the latest technology.

Adish Sood, Amloh


Prohibit smoking in and around hospital

The recent fire incidents at the PGI raise questions over adherence to safety regulations. Smoking in and around the hospital premises should be prohibited. All the electric switches, appliances, and machinery need to be switched when not in use, and the wiring at the hospital needs to be repaired or overhauled to avoid such incidents.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali


Maintain firefighting equipment in buildings

Recurring fire incidences at the PGI are a cause for concern for the lives of patients and staff. The electrical wiring at the hospital needs an overhaul. Each department and building at the hospital needs firefighting equipment, and the staff needs to be trained to douse fire and evacuate patients if needed.

SS Arora, Mohali


Replace wiring, train medical staff

All the existing electric cables need to be replaced with better-quality wiring at the hospital. Proper fire safety measures need to be in place to prevent future incidents, and the staff needs to be trained to evacuate patients in an emergency.

Col KJ Singh Retd


heavy load also to blame for mishaps

The recent incidents of fire at the PGI are a cause for great concern. The main reason behind such accidents could be the heavy load on the old electrical wires at the hospital, which causes short circuits, leading to fire. The hospital staff needs to comply with all the safety norms. Fire extinguishers should be installed in the most accessible places at the hospital, and modern fire detectors and sprinklers to douse fire should be installed.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh


Corrupt officials need to be fired

Building and safety operations include public counter permitting operations, plan review, and building inspection. Authorities are responsible for ensuring the construction of durable, sustainable, and resilient buildings and homes. However, instances of such mishaps are a cause for concern. It is possible that corrupt officials with a lackadaisical attitude are the main reason behind such incidents. Trained officials need to be deployed at the hospital to maintain vigilance and educate people about the safety norms.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali


Install latest fire management systems

It is necessary to install all the latest fire-management systems at the hospital. Moreover, when the hospital premises are crowded, fire tenders should be present at the hospital to help douse flames as soon as they begin. Hospitals need to have modern fire-detection systems and automatic water-spraying systems to avoid such incidents.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh


Proper preventive measures required

All hospital staff should be trained to use fire extinguishers and must be familiar with the fire evacuation plan to evacuate patients in case of a fire on the premises. The hospital authorities must work on preventive measures and ascertain the reason behind back-to-back incidents of fire. One of the major reasons behind fire may be poor connection of wires, overloading of electricity, and wear and tear of electrical wires, which cause short circuits, leading to fire.

Manju Malhotra Phool, Chandigarh


QUESTION FOR NEXT WEEK

In light of recent strikes by PGI contract workers, what should the hospital do to ensure uninterrupted medical services during strikes and to address the concerns of essential workers?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to [email protected]

#PGI Chandigarh


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