HSA patients recovering from trauma, says psychologist

Dr Roslee AhmadJOHOR BAHRU: Incessant crying, prolonged anxiety and restlessness from wanting to be discharged as soon as possible have been among the reactions displayed by patients of the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA), who were traumatised by Tuesday’s devastating fire.

However, a psychologist has noted that most patients have begun to show signs of recovery, three days after the tragedy that killed six intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Educational Foundation and Social Science Department lecturer Dr Roslee Ahmad said based on a psychological test conducted, the level of anxiety the patients harboured about their safety had decreased to “four”, a far cry from what it was right after the fire.

“On the day of the incident, the concern level was 10 and this showed that the patients were worried and traumatised by the incident.

“The normal level is between 0 and 1. We try to give counselling so that they will be calm and try to forget the horrific event,” he told Bernama.

Dr Roslee, who has 20 years’ experience in counselling, said the university had offered counselling sessions to six patients, including two family members of patients, who were currently being treated at the orthopaedic ward.

“Although they are not the patients of the burnt ICU, they were also affected and traumatised (by the fire).

“They are recovering and we monitor their condition from time to time. Thank God the development has been positive,” he said.

The orthopaedic ward is currently being used for pre- and post-op patients.

Fifteen counsellors, seven from UTM and the rest from HSA, have been assigned to provide counselling to patients still traumatised by the fire.

The fire broke out at the HSA’s ICU at about 9am, killing six patients warded there and injuring three hospital staff.