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Ignorance of first aid education causing death on Delhi roads

Ignorance of first aid education causing death on Delhi roads
The incident on August 10, where a pedestrian at Subhash Nagar was hit by a speeding tempo, left bleeding for hours, robbed of his mobile phone and subsequently succumbed to the severe injury, showed the national Capital its cruel face. A life could have been saved if people had shown their humanitarian face and had awareness about first aid in emergency situations. Thousands others like Matbool die on Delhi roads in absence of proper and timely first aid. 

At a time when major city hospitals are facing a rush of accident victims amid shortage of resources, City’s health experts highlight that citizens lack proper knowledge of first aid and in situation like these where a timely help can save life, people are compelled to become mere spectators. 

Citing the challenges at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital that receives about 100 patients daily, Medical Superintendent Dr AK Gadpayle mentioned ‘at times the hospital does face the shortage of ventilators.’ Emphasising the importance of first aid awareness, Dr Gadpayle said, “The first two hours are considered to be the golden period of survival for the victim. At this juncture basic awareness and proper display of steps by Samaritans can save a precious life.” Dr Gadpayle also stated that Directorate General Health Services has introduced first aid awareness program at RML for the citizens who want to help during crisis situations. 

As most of the accident cases in city lead to head injuries, a senior doctor at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital said, “The basic objective should be to prevent further bleeding. For this the spot must be pressed with plastic or a cloth until the victim reaches a hospital.”  In warning that the patient should not be made to have water, the doctor highlighted, “Making the victim consume water in most situations causes lungs to aspirate that leads to further complications or even death,”  With 40 accident patients coming and on an average 2 deaths daily at LNJP, the hospital presently has 21 beds in casualty and about 50 beds in emergency. The hospital is planning to increase its capacity. 

Dr Anil Rai who is the MS at Safdarjung hospital said, “Along with the general public even the most educated lot today may not be aware of the basic first aid procedures to be exercised during crisis situations and there is a drastic need of this awareness.”
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