First in the Series: How prepared are you to Tackle a Medical Emergency?
Indian International Center (IIC) launched a series of lectures on things that affect the well-being of Delhi ‘s citizens. Titled the ‘Delhi Matters Series’ and starting on 18th December, 2017 the first discussion in the series focused on medical emergencies and trauma.The Series will be taken forward for the next 12 months. The discussion on the 18 th December was aimed at providing a holistic view on different kinds of Health Emergencies the available operational structure and precautionary measure to prevent and deal with emergencies at home, ,at the workplace and while commuting.
Shailaja Chandra as Chair: Introduction to Medical Emergencies of the Delhi Matters Series
The talk was led by a Panel of distinguished professionals which included Dr. M C Misra, former director of AIIMS and a trauma expert; Mr. Tamorish Kole; Chairman of Institute of Emergency Medicine India; Ms. Monika Bhardwaj, IPS who heads the operations of PCR vans and 100 helpline; Mr. Rana in-charge of the Centralized Accidence Trauma Services (CAT); and Mr. Mukherjee, the Lawyer who assisted in drafting the new Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) for the government. ( Awaiting Parliament’s approval).
Dr. Tamorish Kole started the discussion by narrating stories of different kinds of patients who underwent trauma and the preventive steps that the families could have taken to avoid the emergency situations. Dr. Kole mentioned a case of 76 year-old man who had had a fall in the washroom and was rushed to emergency. It was later diagnosed that the reason for his fall was low lighting and cataract; something that could have been prevented. He suggested that elderly people should be encouraged to do physical exercises and families should avoid using carpets and slippery mats when there are old people in the house.
Similarly, while emphasizing on the importance of mental health, Dr.Tamorish cited a case of a patient who complained of discomfort and high blood pressure and assumed it was a gas problem. But later found as a minor heart attack. Likewise an 82 year visited the hospital thrice, each time with three different problems and was subsequently discharged the same day every time. After a detailed conversation with the man, he was diagnosed of severe depression. Dr. Kole thus concludes that no symptom should be ignored and must be examined for better survival and follow 5 simple rules.
“People must be encouraged to CONNECT with each other, BE ACTIVE, TAKE NOTICE and KEEP LEARNING of minute changes in one’s body and GIVE time to yourself to curb mental health problems. Because, mental health is as important as physical health” – Dr. Tamorish Kole
Dr Tamorish Kole: Panelist on Doing Your Part :Lessons Learnt from 5 Case Studies
In confronting acute medical conditions and providing urgent attention and care, Dr. M C Misra narrated several experiences he had encountered He highlighted some of the emergency cases that he had seen first hand. He stated that no bodily symptoms can be termed as minor unless proved. No symptoms can be ignored and should be treated immediately irrespective of the time of day.
It is important to know the facilities available in the hospitals in your vicinity, he asserted. While discussing acute diseases irrespective of the age and trauma due to road accidents, he concluded with applaud about the work and efficiency of 800 PCR vans in evacuation of individual emergencies and mass causalities in the past. But, hopes for significant improvement to meet the international standard.
“Nowadays among adolescent and adults, leading cause of injury as motor vehicle crash has been noticed.40% of the injuries are due to road crashes and 50% of those injured are pedestrians followed by causes due to drunken driver and unskilled drivers.”- Dr. M C Misra
Dr M C Misra Panelist on : Warning Signals, Preventive Strategies-What People at Risk Need to Know
India faces the highest number of road deaths every year and is on its own a national emergency situation.
Mr. Suhaan Mukerji who drafted the legislation and policy for the Motor Vehicle Framework spoke about the amendments made in the law and its impact of the citizens. He highlighted that the focus of the law has been safety and creating a systemic response adopting a 360 degree approach. As a part of the changes the government has taken actions to protect the citizen who helps the road accident victims, has mandated the use of statistics and systematic data collection to adopt data-driven decisions and lastly, increased fines for breaking road or traffic rules. He believes that this is a major structural shift in the law and defines how the government perceived transportation, mobility and safety of the all citizens in the country.
“Road accidents are also like a national emergency in a sense. We need a 360 degree approach to tackle this by looking at designs of a car, the inbuilt safety features, different types of offences and the systematic approach in case of emergency.” – Suhaan Mukerji
Mr Suhaan Mukherji Panelist on Improving Mobility/ Access Issues in Traffic and Transport
However, with a mission of saving lives officially and personally, Mrs. Monika Bhardwaj feels proud to lead the PCR Department, whose mandate is to provide quick police assistance and help people in distress with certain limitations. In her address, she explained the objective of the Police Control Room (PCR) and its functionality.
“PCR vans are equipped with ‘Phablets’ i.e; Phone and Tablets with internet connectivity, first aid kits, stretchers and trained staff. When the victim calls 100, the location of the victim is tracked and sent to the PCR vans to immediately start the assistance. Now, more than 20 Green Corridors have been created to increase efficiency of the service and avoid traffic and other road barriers, Mrs. Monika Bhardwaj said.
“Anybody who is in distress or in medical emergencies in Delhi, we are duty bound to help them. But, PCR cannot be used to transport sick people or dead bodies which are one of the limitations.”- Monika Bhardwaj, DCP (PCR)
Ms Monika Bhardwaj (IPS) Panelist on : Management of Medical Emergencies -Lessons Learnt from 100
The talk continued with Q & A, Mr. Laxman Singh Rana enlightening the audience on citizen responses in situations of accidents, where someone is injured or badly hurt. He mentioned that firstly, one should never touch the broken limbs or try to remove any object that has gone into the victim’s body as it may aggravate the injury.
Every citizen should enroll themselves in an emergency training course. Speaking about CAT, he mentioned that helpline number 102 and 1099 are two key lines through which CAT operates.
Mr L S Rana Administrative Officer (Operations) Centralised Accident Trauma Services
Each ambulance is equipped with paramedics who take the patient to the desired hospital or any public hospital as a default. The role of CAT is critical in times of emergencies and is a large network across the capital.
Concluding the session with a round of question and answer session, the IIC host and chair Ms. Shailaja Chandra spoke about the future of the program and the upcoming lecture of Pollution, Congestion and Environment to continue the mission of discussing and making people aware of the serious health related issues that the capital faces.
Written by Dr. M Shahid Siddiqui.
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