Close call for premature baby in freak incident
Posted on June 7, 2012, Thursday
MIRI: Panic gripped Miri Hospital on Tuesday evening when a premature baby boy, who was born 28 weeks into Evelyn Bilong’s pregnancy, and a nurse were trapped inside a lift for 70 minutes.
What made this 7.45pm incident unusual compared to other stranded lift incidents was that the breathing tube was still affix to the baby but the oxygen tank was outside the lift!
The incident unfolded when the nurse was in the midst of moving the baby to another ward with the help of Evelyn.
As soon as the nurse, who was carrying the baby, stepped into
the lift the doors immediately closed, leaving the oxygen tank and the baby’s mother outside.
The panic-stricken Evelyn immediately yelled for help and hospital staff quickly called its maintenance department. The technicians arrived at 8.10pm with an ‘emergency’ key but failed to get the lift doors to open.
They then called up the vendor of the lift and he arrived from Senadin at about 8.45pm.
A huge sigh of relief resonated throughout the hospital 10 minutes later when the vendor managed to open the doors.
The baby was immediately transferred to the special care unit, and is said to be in a stable condition.
During a briefing on the incident for political secretary to the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Sebastian Ting yesterday, the hospital management said its lifts, which were installed in 1995, were maintained by a private firm.
Also present at the briefing was Miri Hospital matron Chieng Sui Hoon.
“We are glad that there was no casualty in the incident and the baby is also safe and healthy.
“However, I hope the hospital will conduct special training for its staff on how to respond to similar incidents in the future so that rescue can be carried out in a shorter period of time,” said Ting after visiting the baby at the special care unit.
Meanwhile, the hospital, in a statement issued yesterday, said the faulty lift had been placed out of bounds until the actual cause of problem was ascertained.
It added that the hospital management was also looking into the standard operation procedure (SOP) for emergencies should similar incidents occur in future.
As a temporary measure, the public has been encouraged to use the staircase. If use of a lift is deemed necessary, it is advisable to get a guard or staff to serve as escort.