COVID-19 Doctor Gets Burned Trying to Save Patients From Hospital Fire

The Romanian 'hero' doctor has been flown to Belgium for a burn treatment.
Fabienne Lang
Beds that were in the Romanian hospital blazeThe Doctor Saab/Twitter

A doctor in Romania suffered severe burns after trying to save COVID-19 patients from a hospital fire in Piatra Neamt. He has now been flown to Belgium, where he will receive treatment for his burns. 

The doctor, named Dr. Catalin Denciu, has been deemed a "hero" by PM Ludovic Orban, said the BBC.

Ten patients died in the fire that erupted in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), which spread to an adjoining room. 


'Hero' doctor

The cause of the fire is still unknown, and an inquiry has started to find out exactly how such a deadly event happened. The BBC reports that some suggest it was due to a medical appliance catching fire, or due to an electrical short circuit.

The ten patients included seven men and three women, aged between 67 and 86, explained the Guardian's report. Six other COVID-19 patients were seriously injured and brought to a nearby hospital.

Dr. Denciu tried to save patients, leading to 40% of his body suffering second to third-degree burns. He was transported to Belgium's Queen Astrid military hospital after having been looked after in Romania's capital, Bucharest. 

"I express my respect for the heroic doctor who showed particular courage and spirit of sacrifice in trying to save the patients," said PM Orban in local news reports, per the Guardian.

As of Sunday, Romania had nearly 13,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals around the country, with 1,169 of them in ICUs, as Reuters reports