Ensure hospitals don't turn away accident victims: Bombay High Court - Alternative Media Forum


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Friday, 27 March 2015

Ensure hospitals don't turn away accident victims: Bombay High Court

Mumbai, Somita Pal,Urvi Mahajani(WEB TEAM): Expressing concern over growing accident fatalities, the Bombay High Court on Friday asked the government to ensure that all hospitals, public as well as private, provide treatment to all accident victims and do not turn them away.

A division bench of justices VM Kanade and AR Joshi asked the government to issue a directive to all hospitals in this regard after the court was informed that a railway accident victim had succumbed to injuries as she did not get medical treatment for over nine hours.

The HC was hearing a PIL filed by activist Samir Zaveri seeking medical facilities at the railway stations so that rail victims can be provided treatment in the 'golden hour' (within one hour of the accident) itself. Zaveri himself had lost his legs in a railway accident.

Earlier, the court was informed how Badlapur resident Darshana Pawar (29) lost her life after she fell off train between Badlapur and Ambarnath railway stations on February 9. Though she was immediately rushed to a nearby private hospital, the hospital refused to provide her treatment saying they do not treat accident victims. She was

She was then taken to two government hospitals which did not have facilities to treat her. She was then taken to Sion and KEM hospitals, which did not have vacant beds. All this shifting took over nine hours, by which time Pawar succumbed to her injuries.

What does Monica More, the brave rail accident survivor who lost her hands, have to say?
Monica More, the 18-year who lost her hands in a freak rail accident on January 11, 2014, has welcomed the Bombay High Court's directive asking the state government to inform all hospitals, including private hospitals, to provide medical treatment irrespective of the financial status of the accident victims.
"Whether it is a road accident or a railway accident, the victim should be taken to the nearest hospital, and treatment should be provided without delay," said the Kurla resident who has just appeared for the HSC exams.

There should be greater coordination between railway stations and hospitals: More
The commerce student said that every railway station should have information about the nearest hospitals in its vicinity which are equipped to handle railway accident cases. "In my case, I was taken to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar. The hospital was not equipped to handle the complex injuries that I had. I was unconscious then," said More.

'Ambulances should be kept on standby outside railway stations'
"When I hear about the experiences of my family during that period, I feel that lot needs to be streamlined in terms of transportation of railway accident victims to hospitals. An ambulance should be stationed outside the railway stations and they should know which hospital they should take the victim to. The hospital should be informed while the patient is being taken there, so that there is no loss of time, and the patient gets treated in the golden hour. This will bring down the deaths in such cases," said More.

Did delay in bringing More to the proper hospital result in the loss of her limbs?
According to More, after her accident, she was rushed to Rajawadi Hospital in an auto-rickshaw, as there was no emergency medical care or ambulance available at the station. "I was lucky that Amjad and Naseem Chowdhary, then strangers and now rakhi brothers, took me to hospital at the earliest. They carried my left arm, that had come off entirely, wrapped in a piece of cloth borrowed from a fellow commuter. They somehow held my right arm, barely hanging from the elbow, in place with a handkerchief," said More.

Over three hours after the accident, she was transferred to KEM Hospital as Rajawadi hospital was not equipped to handle a complicated case. At KEM Hospital, a team of doctors undertook a lengthy surgery, yet failed to reattach the limbs. Their job was made difficult because of the delay in bringing More to their care.

How is More faring now?
More made it to the headlines and personified the issue of several railway accidents happening due to the glaring gap between platforms and coaches. She remained in KEM hospital (where she had been transferred from Rajawadi hospital) for six months and was discharged on July 18. "I am lucky to have been loved by so many well-wishers. The encouraged me throughout my stay in the hospital and helped me monetarily too. Because of their support and help of doctors I got the most advanced artificial limbs that can be controlled with impulses generated naturally by muscles," said More. Upon hearing of the High Court's decision, she hoped that no one else would have to go through her horrific ordeal.

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