The Telegraph
Tuesday , October 2 , 2012
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Chunk falls off SSKM ceiling

- Four OTs to be shut for 10 days

A large chunk fell off the ceiling in an empty operating theatre at SSKM Hospital on Monday morning, an hour before a patient was to be wheeled in for surgery.

The operating theatre in the hospital’s main block has been closed for repairs. The authorities said no surgery had to be cancelled or deferred.

The close shave has prompted the authorities to decide on shutting four of the six OTs in the main block, including the affected one, for 10 days during Puja for maintenance.

“We transferred all scheduled operations to other OTs in the same building. The affected OT will be made operational after sterilisation,” said Tamal Kanti Ghosh, the medical superintendent of SSKM.

The chunk, which could have badly hurt a person, fell around 8.30am. “A patient was to be wheeled in an hour later for surgery,” said an official.

“There would have been a tragedy had the chunk fallen during surgery. Surgeons and support staff, and even the patient, could have been badly injured,” said an official.

Pradip Mitra, the director of the Institute of Post Graduate Medicine and Research -SSKM, said four of the six OTs in the main block of the hospital, including the one in which the ceiling chunk had fallen, would be closed for 10 days during Puja for upkeep. The dates have not been decided yet.

“It’s an old building and the OTs need thorough repair. We have asked the PWD for an estimate of the cost for repair,” said Mitra.

The authorities said the operations planned during the period would be deferred or cancelled. “Only a few operations are planned as it’s a festive season,” said Mitra.

The repair will include replacing the old electrical wires, and plastering and giving a coat of paint on the walls.

The last time the OTs underwent a major renovation was more than three years ago.