'Air-conditioned hospitals prone to fire mishaps'

'Air-conditioned hospitals prone to fire mishaps'

According to Dr O S Siddappa, dean and director of the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMRCI), the air-conditioned hospitals are prone to fire mishaps and such incidents are less likely in the government hospitals.

“All our government hospitals have ventilation and enough open space, which ensure better management of fire mishaps. Only those completely air-conditioned hospitals need to check on their safety standards,” he added.

According to National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare Providers (NABH), it is mandatory for hospitals to conduct mock drills. But, only a handful of hospitals in the City adhere to the guideline.  

Among the government hospitals, Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Science and Research has applied for the NABH accreditation and is upgrading its fire safety standards. “Earlier, hospitals were built horizontally with ramps everywhere to shift the patients. But, now with vertical, air-conditioned glass buildings, rescuing patients is difficult,” said an official from the Jayadeva Hospital.

Guidelines

Dr Aravind Gubbi, secretary of Private Hospital and Nursing Home Association (PHANA) said the association is now taking initiative to create guidelines for all the hospitals.  “In the aftermath of the Kolkata tragedy on Friday, the association members are discussing a check-list to look into the safety standards in the hospitals,” he said.

Among the private hospitals, Manipal Hospital began to check its fire safety standards every year, in the wake of the fire mishap at its neighbouring Carlton Tower. Besides, the annual exercise is mandatory to secure the NABH tag.

The hospital in association with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services conducts mock drill every year, said C G Muthanna, VP (operations) of the hospital.

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