FIVE months after a fire took the lives of 21 victims and decimated Hospital Calderón Guardia in downtown San José, the fifth floor of its main building has reopened, the daily La Nación reported. Although the hospital is still 118 beds short, it has gradually resumed most of its normal functions.
Between 50-55 daily surgeries are being performed, bringing the facility to 90% of its capacity, chief of surgery Raúl Valverde told the daily.
The demolition of the oldest part of the hospital complex, which the fire partially destroyed in July (TT, July 15), is taking place now and could be completed in January or February, Luis Paulino Hernández, the Calderón Guardia medical director, told La Nación.
To avoid a similar tragedy, Social Security System (Caja) hospitals and clinics are now required to set up signs indicating their buildings’ evacuation routes, according to the daily.
A new manual of signs, designed to make all the fire-escape signs at Caja hospitals uniform, and to resolve what hospital authorities identified as one of the main problems in the July blaze – patients’ difficulty in finding escape routes – will be put to practice in January.