Putting brakes on railway-related deaths in Mumbai
Doctors tell cops systemic changes, like replacing accident porters with trained paramedics, are neededmumbai Updated: Dec 19, 2015 00:11 IST
To reduce the number of train-related deaths, the Government Railway Police (GRP) organized a ‘co-ordination meeting’ with doctors from 16 government hospitals on Thursday to discuss shortcomings in the process through which victims receive medical aid. Also discussed were ways to ensure that more patients received treatment during the ‘golden hour’, which is said to be crucial when treating trauma patients.
At the meeting, headed by GRP commissioner Madhukar Pandey at the police headquarters, doctors said there was a dire need for systemic changes, starting with the replacement of accident porters with trained paramedics.
“The intention of the meeting was to understand loopholes in the process after an accident is reported. There are many factors that lead to delays in sending victims to hospital and we want to assess which of these can be resolved. It will also help improve coordination among us,” Pandey told HT.
GRP officials, including both deputy commissioners, told the doctors about their own concerns and difficulties in taking railway accident victims to hospital, emphasising the loss of valuable time during the golden hour. The idea behind the golden hour is that trauma patients have better outcomes if they receive care within 60 minutes of suffering their injuries. “This would increase the chances of saving a life as most accident victims die of heavy blood loss,” said Pandey.
The doctors replied that the entire system needed an overhaul, with better mortuaries and trained paramedics to attend to victims quickly. They said the authorities should instruct railway hospitals to admit and treat accident victims as well, and that the railways should tie up with private hospitals as they outnumber municipal and government hospitals and are also usually better located. The GRP will now send detailed excerpts of the meeting to the railways and invite their representative to another co-ordination meeting so that the changes can be effected soon.
Doctors from across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region attended the meeting, including those from St George Hospital at CST, KEM Hospital in Parel, GT Hospital near Crawford Market, JJ Hospital in Byculla, Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, Bhabha Hospital in Kurla and civic hospitals in Thane and Ulhasnagar.