Since these babies were all prematurely born, many of them were already on oxygen support and had IVs attached. Savita ensured that once they were safe, she reconnected the IVs and oxygen to those who were in need of it. “The child who needed the oxygen the most is whom I attended to first and then the others.”
A government hospital is stereotyped by a lack of concern or the callous attitude of the staff. But then, stereotypes are meant to be broken. This is one such story that will shatter your belief about government hospitals.
Savita Ikhar, a nurse at the Indira Gandhi Government College and Hospital (IGGCH) in Nagpur, single-handedly managed to save the lives of nine premature babies— four boys and five girls, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
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On 31 August 2019 at around 2.30 a.m. nurse Savita was just coming out of the post-birth unit NICU with a feeding tray in hand, when she noticed an electric spark and before she could react there was a short circuit.
I was alone at the time and I couldn’t find anyone around. My first thoughts went to the babies in the ward, all of whom were without any parents or relatives. Without wasting any time I ran into the ward and picked up four of the nine babies first.
With parents coming in from various parts of the state, they take up accommodation close by to stay. “Also as it is an ICU, the parents are not allowed inside to avoid infections. One of the babies had lost his mother at birth and had no one but some relatives,” informs Savita.
With quick presence of mind, she turned off all the oxygen cylinders. “If I had not turned off the cylinders then the results could have been disastrous,” says Savita who made sure to put the name tags of the infants for identification.
Once Savita had placed the babies safely away from the ward, another sister came to help. “We placed the first four babies in a room where they were safe and I went back to get the other five three of whom had oxygen masks on,” says Savita.
With the help of the torchlight of her mobile phone, she made her way tho the ICU and rescued the other children.
Since these babies were all prematurely born, many of them were already on oxygen support and had IVs attached. Savita ensured that once they were safe, she reconnected the IVs and oxygen to those who were in need of it. “The child who needed the oxygen the most is whom I attended to first and then the others. These babies were between a few hours old to a maximum of 15 days old. None of the babies were heavier than 1.5 kg.”
Savita then called the parents and guardians and informed them about what had happened.
The hospital Dean Dr Ajay Keoliya, denied any fire break out and maintains that it was only sparking which did not develop into a fire. “The entire hospital and staff members are extremely proud of Savita’s quick thinking. It saved the day, after all,” he says.
The safety of the infants under her charge was part of Savita’s duty, and she rose to the call fearlessly and risked her life so that the budding lives were out of danger. For that, The Better India salutes this hero!
(Edited Saiqua Sultan)