Need to treat accidents as a disease: Narendra Vaidya, surgeon at Lokmanya Group of Hospitals, Pune
‘Once we start treating accidents as a disease or as an epidemic, then, we will try and make a comprehensive strategy to prevent them which is the need of the hour’pune Updated: Jul 15, 2017 14:07 IST
Most number of road accidents in India occur on highways or on the outskirts of the city where roads are wide and signal free. Over speeding and rampant lane cutting are the major reasons for these accidents. Lokmanya hospital has treated numerous accident patients not only on the Mumbai-Pune expressway but on various other highways near Pune. Narendra Vaidya, managing director and chief joint replacement surgeon at Lokmanya Group of Hospitals, Pune, shares his views with Satyajit Joshi on the growing number of accidents.
What are your views on the growing number of accidents?
We look at accidents as an incident. But considering the growing number of accidents we need to look at them as a disease. In that sense, I feel accidents remain the most neglected of diseases in India. Once we start treating accidents as a disease or as an epidemic, then, we will try and make a comprehensive strategy to prevent them which is the need of the hour.
Could you tell us about the golden hour project started by Lokmanya hospital?
Lokmanya hospital majorly treats highway accident patients. While treating these patients, it is very critical that they get access to the right medical treatment in time. This is referred to as the golden hour which is very critical. To ensure that treatment reaches accident patients on time we started the golden hour project in the year 2000. As part of this project, we also started the emergency medical trauma unit in the hospital and ambulances to help critical patients get treatment at the earliest.
How critical is it to provide treatment at the earliest during an accident?
We classify patients into three categories. In the first category, patients usually succumb to their injuries on the spot and doctors can do little to save the patient. The second category of patients are those, who if provided treatment within 60 minutes of the accident, can survive. The third category patients are those who can develop certain complexities later after treatment and need good medical care and rehabilitation. Hence, overall providing treatment in time is very critical when it comes to accidents.
Lokmanya hospital also operates ambulances with emergency medical facilities. How do these ambulances help?
These ambulances are mobile trauma critical units which start treating the accident victims on the spot which is very important. Our ambulances can reach the accident spot on the highways within eight to 10 minutes which is very critical and can save someone's life. These ambulances have a doctor and a para medical person and all the emergency services required. Since 2005-2006 we have been able to treat close to 35,000 to 40,000 accident patients on the Mumbai-Pune expressway alone.
How much is awareness necessary to ensure road safety?
Awareness is very important. Drivers must be disciplined and should not violate rules. I myself conduct lectures for school children and sensitise them towards the consequences of road accidents and the need to abide by traffic rules. I have reached over a lakh students so far.
What kind of injuries can cause death or disability?
In accidents bone and joint fractures can cause physical disability while head injuries can cause death. Hence, taking safety measures like wearing of helmets becomes very important but it still remains neglected and most fail to understand its purpose.