ICU patients on ventilators among dead, says Johor fire chief

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JOHOR BARU: The patients who died in the fire at the Sultanah Amanah Hospital in Johor Baru may have lost their lives due to the inability to move them.

Johor Fire and Rescue Department Director Othman Abdullah said the six patients who died were among seven critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which is where the fire had started shortly before 9am.

“There were seven critically ill patients in the ICU who, according to doctors, were dependent on ventilators under normal circumstances and could not be moved without their beds,” Othman was quoted as saying by Bernama.

He added that all the patients were on the southern ICU section, and on the second floor of the hospital.

“We managed to rescue one patient after our firefighters rushed to the hospital upon being notified at 8.56am,” he said, adding that 10 fire trucks and 166 firefighters responded to the emergency at the hospital.

Othman also said the fire was contained and did not spread to other areas of the hospital.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported Johor Baru Selatan Police chief ACP Sulaiman Salleh as saying that five of the bodies were found at 11.15am and the sixth a little later.

The Johor state government has welcomed the assistance provided by private hospitals to temporarily house some of the patients after the evacuation.

Johor Health and Environment Committee Chairman Ayub Rahmat told Bernama that this was essential for some patients who needed to be moved immediately.

“We (the Johor government) will provide the appropriate aid soon to the next-of-kin of those who died,” he added.