NIMS puts lives at risk with ‘soft’ launch of trauma centre

In a bizarre move that could potentially risk lives of many, the management of Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) has ‘soft’ launched the prestigious Trauma Care Centre without any mandatory clearances.

Hospital sources say that so far NIMS authorities have not received the clearance to ‘operate’ the trauma care centre from the Department of Fire Services and even from the contractor who built the new facility. The decision to soft launch the trauma centre has not gone down well with the doctors who have openly criticised the move.

In a recent meeting with the management, senior doctors questioned the logic behind shifting to trauma centre without taking basic fire safety precautions.

Gory incident

Following the gory incident in Kolkata in which over 90 persons lost their lives due to fire accident at AMRI Hospital, they are hesitant to work in an environment that does not give an assurance on patient safety from fire.

In addition to lack of fire safety, the new trauma centre does not have specific areas with internal connections to supply of life-saving medical gasses like compressed air, oxygen and nitrous oxide to patients.

“There are no open spaces that can act as an outlet for fumes in case of a fire disaster. They have just provided fire extinguishers and fire hoses at a few places. There is no exterior staircase provided for patients and the medical staff to evacuate during emergencies,” hospital doctors said.

The doctors maintain that in case of a fire accident, patients and other medical personnel will have to depend on a single staircase to evacuate. “Lifts will never work during a fire accident. There should be an external staircase to facilitate quick getaway during emergencies,” a NIMS hospital doctor said.

Since January, one floor of the trauma care centre has been fully occupied by the administrative and ministerial staff of the hospital.

In fact, senior Resident Medical Officers (RMO) have shifted their office from the old building to the new trauma centre.

The impending possibility of shifting the patients and medical staff to the new facility has made senior professors at NIMS edgy.

“The management is rushing to open the new facility so that they can have access to government funds. The management is also yet to pay close to Rs.12.5 crore to the contractor who has built the trauma centre,” doctors say.