JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – During a power outage at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (CHBH), the third largest hospital in the world, medical staff had to use cellphones’ lights to carry out a caesarean section and other critical tasks.
Last Friday, the doctors of CHBH were performing different operations when the power went out between 2 to 4 in the morning. A caesarean section was in process then, so the staff had to complete the operation with the aid of lights from torches and cellphones. If the doctors had waited for power to be restored the mother and the baby would have died due to excessive bleeding.
While in high-care unit of maternity section, a member of the staff had to manually pump the oxygen sack for about half an hour after the backup battery collapsed to keep a patient on ventilator alive.
This was the seventh time the hospital had to face electricity outage this year. At an earlier outage it was discovered that the hospital’s generators had no fuel to run and provide the electricity in time of need. The officials have promised to look in to the matter.