PGH fellow witnesses 'beautiful stories' amid fire

Published May 17, 2021, 5:17 PM

by Andrea Aro

The fire that broke out at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) showed how people are really good at heart by making sure all people in the hospital were evacuated safely.

(Photo courtesy of Jhing Talan / MANILA BULLETIN)

Jhing Talan, a fellow-in-training in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at PGH shared in a Facebook post the “beautiful stories” that she witnessed in the pedia department amid the fire.

“I want to remember this tiring day as a good one. People are really good at heart. May we all recover soonest as many of our patients deserve quality health care. Saludo po sa lahat ng mabubuting tao,” Talan said.

Talan said she personally saw how all the people in the hospital were safely evacuated and received continuous care with the help of all the doctors, nurses, firemen and other health workers during the incident.

“Never in my life did I imagine na magkakaron ng sunog sa PGH at kailangan magevacuate ng lahat (That there would be a fire here in PGH that all people should be evacuated). Posting this here to remind myself in the years to come that people are really good at heart, and tragedies like this make us show our true selves,” Talan said.

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.

“A pedia resident was asked to evacuate immediately but he decided to bring an intubated preterm baby, nilagay niya lang sa bulsa niya kasi di na kaya magbaba ng isolette (He put the baby inside his pocket because he can’t carry the isolette),” Talan said.

The pedia resident wore a vest with large pockets that a premature baby would be able to fit.

“He did ambubagging while going down. Then he hooked the baby to o2 (oxygen) pagdating niya sa 1st floor),” she added.

According to Talan, a pedia fellow transferred their baby post arterial switch to National Children’s Hospital to receive continuous care.

A pedia nurse monitored the hydration of their post-chemo patient to avoid kidney problems while the patient was inside a car in the parking lot.

“Kinabit nalang ang swero sa puno para tumutulo parin (The IV fluid was attached to a tree to keep it dripping),” Talan said.

(Photo courtesy of Jhing Talan / MANILA BULLETIN)

Their pedia resident who is admitted as a patient in the COVID ward has decided to monitor his co-patients at the parking lot near the oblation.

“Miss niya na raw maging residente! (He said that he missed being a resident),” she said.

The PGH chapel served as a temporary shelter for pedia patients and newborn babies amid the incident. The priests made the chapel available for the affected patients and their companions and even served boiled eggs to the people in the vicinity, according to Talan.

Meanwhile, the nurses and nurse aids have provided e-carts, bottles of IV fluids for continuous hydration and monitored the critical patients.

“Still monitoring vitals of critical patients, hooking intubated patients to o2 (ang galing nila maghanap ng o2), tracking patients sa parking lot, sa flag pole, sa chapel, at kung saan saan pa to make sure everyone was evacuated from higher floors,” Talan said.

Talan also shared how the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses, fellows and residents safely transferred 35 babies from the NICU located at the 4th floor of the hospital to the open area.

She added that patients and their watchers helped one another and she never heard anyone grumble.

No casualties or injuries were reported in the fire.