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Ranchi airport denies ambulance to critically-ill girl

A girl travelling on a Kolkata-Ranchi flight is denied an ambulance by the Birsa Munda Airport officials after she became critically ill, reports Namita Tiwari.
Hindustan Times | By Namita Tewari, Ranchi
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2007 01:27 AM IST

A girl travelling on a Kolkata-Ranchi flight was denied an ambulance by the Birsa Munda Airport officials after she became critically ill. The airport authorities said their rules did not permit them to take her to the hospital outside the premises.

Shruti Bajaj was on Air Deccan Flight SN 573 with her father Suresh Bajaj, when she fell unconscious due to anaphylaxis and was in acute respiratory distress.

Co-passenger Dr Pritish Singh tried to revive her with medicine and oxygen from the aircraft's first aid box. But when the plane landed, the airport ambulance was refused to her.

The airport even lacked life-saving adrenalin, the doctor said.

The Birsa Munda Airport officials blamed Air Deccan for failing to extend proper medical services. The Indian Medical Association has written to Union Civil Aviation Minister Prafulla Patel about the episode.

IMA National vice-president, Dr Ajay Kumar Singh faxed a letter to the Union Minister saying the “IMA is proud of the dedicated services of its young member Dr Pritish Singh but is deeply concerned over non-availability of any emergency drug at the airport."

He said, "The ground staff at Birsa Munda Airport was informed about the health crisis in the aircraft. But, the ambulance refused to take the patient to hospital. The doctor attending to the patient asked the airport staff to open the first-aid room but was surprised to find only an oxygen cylinder was available. There was no IV fluid or emergency medicine ".

Officer on Special Duty, BMA, Dhananjay Tiwari said, "It is not our duty to arrange for ambulance. Relatives of the patient could have done this or the concerned airlines whose officials were informed after the captain had announced a sick person was on board."

He denied the airport lacked emergency drugs.

Air Deccan Station-in-charge, Krishna said, "We provided oxygen throughout the flight and it was the duty of the airport officials to depute a doctor at the airport".

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