January 23, 2018

Sterilization equipment caused damage

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Three workers injured after explosing at City hospital

Three health workers were injured after sterilization equipment exploded yesterday at the Hospital de Clínicas. All three received treatment for minor abrasions and burns to their faces and legs in the hospital’s emergency room.

The hospital is part of Buenos Aires University (UBA) and as a result of the explosion doctors and patients were evacuated from the building in central Buenos Aires City. Five fire-fighting brigades were sent to the site and after the incident the hospital only accepted patients needing emergency care.

A machine used to sterilize surgical equipment exploded on the 12th floor of the hospital for reasons that are yet to be determined. The equipment, known as an autoclave, heats water vapour to 120 degrees Celsius and high pressures to sterilize surgical tools. A statement by the hospital indicated that the autoclave — which in this case runs on natural gas — was being examined to determine the source of the explosion.

The 12th floor is home to the hospital’s operating rooms and despite the material damage no patients were injured. Shards of glass rained down outside from the 12th floor. Buenos Aires City officials reported that despite some broken windows and pipes, there was no structural damage on the affected floor nor risk of collapse. There were reports that some 30 square metres of the room that houses the autoclaves were evacuated.

Doctors and nurses at the hospital insisted yesterday that the explosion lifted the veil on what they called the state of “abandon” that the Clínicas finds itself in.

“That big explosion caused two elevators to fall. I understand that they are denying that, but that’s happened,” said Damían Molina, in conversation with the TN news channel. The resident added that “there isn’t an evacuation plan, we self-evacuated.

“We didn’t know how serious things were, we started to call our colleagues on other floors to see how they were, so that they would come down.”

The doctor added that some of the hospital’s elevator banks had been shut due to rain on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Emiliano Yacobitti, the head of the Radical (UCR) party in the City and the former dean of the School of Economics José Luis Giusti, were among 40 UBA officials charged with money-laundering by Federal prosecutor Franco Ricardo. The charges are for allegations of kickbacks and irregularities in the hiring of medical suppliers to the Clínicas, and for diverting the hospital’s funds.

Herald with DyN, Télam

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