PGH health worker shares how 35 infants were safely evacuated amid fire

Published May 16, 2021, 2:08 PM

by Andrea Aro

“Longest night shift duty.”

This was how Kathrina Bianca Macababbad described the experience after she and her other co-workers safely evacuated 35 babies from the fire incident at the Philippine General Hospital on Sunday morning (May 16).

(Photo courtesy of Kathrina Bianca Macababbad / via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Macababbad, a health worker from PGH, shared how she and her co-workers safely transferred all the babies from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) located at the 4th floor of the hospital to the open area.

“Enjoy na enjoy pa ako nagpapaligo ng mga baby loves (patients) ko ng biglang may nagbukas ng pinto ko at sabi ay magprepare ng mag evacuate dahil may sunog (I was enjoying bathing my patients then someone opened my door and told me to prepare to evacuate because there’s a fire),” she wrote:

A fire broke out past midnight on Sunday (May 16) at the operating room sterilization area on the third floor of PGH’s central block building.

“Thirty-five out of 35 NICU babies including critical and intubated were saved!,” said Macababbad,

According to Macababbad, five of her patients were ventilator dependent.

“Ventilator dependent ang lima sa anim na patients ko, isa lang ang naka room air. Nakakaiyak na habang bitbit ko yung mga kayang huminga mag isa, maiiwan yung mga naka intubate at ventilator (Five of my patients were ventilator dependent and only one of them can breathe on his/her own. It was heartbreaking because while I was carrying all those who can breathe on their own, those who were intubated and on ventilator will be left),” she said.

Macababbad and her other co-worker returned to the room to evacuate the remaining babies that were on the ventilator.

“Nag ambu bag while carrying the baby ang scenario (I used ambu bag while I was carrying the baby, that was the scenario) ,” she said.

She also took the opportunity to grab all the emergency equipment that can be put inside her ecobag.

“Sa pang limang akyat baba namin sa 4th floor NICU, namatay na pipe in oxygen at kuryente kaya naman even intubated patients, binaba na rin namin (On our fifth return, the pipe in oxygen and electricity died that’s why we also evacuate the intubated patients),” Macababbad said.

Macababbad said she only felt “unwavering strength and courage” during the incident.

They also made sure all the babies have baby tags and their crib tags were glued on their diapers to avoid “baby switching.”