While one would assume that the challenge for the hospital staff would be to provide medicare to the injured, they had more to contend with

It was indeed chaos at the Osmania General Hospital (OGH) on Thursday night as ambulances brought those injured in the Dilsukhnagar blasts.

While one would assume that the challenge for the hospital staff would be to provide medicare to the injured, they had more to contend with.

For instance, the casualty wing had no water supply. There was also a shortage of ventilators, pulse-oximetry machines needed to monitor haemoglobin, defibrillators for cardiac arrests and suction apparatus required to remove vomit and fluids from the mouth of the victims.

Despite all odds, the nurses and medicos, who formed the first line of medical response in the hour of reckoning, did a tremendous job.

With the injured streaming in continuously, medical personnel at the casualty ward had to summon doctors and PG students from other wings.

“At one time, there were more than 30 injured in the ward. We were swamped. There was blood, shouting, and weeping. The influx of onlookers was too high. Not to speak of the photographers and cameramen rushing in,” recalls J. Annamma, Head Nurse of OGH.

“Despite such conditions, our nurses managed to meet the challenge head-on and extended basic treatment,” she recalled.

Incidentally, it was only on Friday evening that water supply was restored to the casualty wing.

Since 2007, there have been several attempts to re-equip the emergency department. The wing has weather-beaten and non-functional ECG machines, rickety furniture, fluctuating power supply, rusted old cots and squeaky stretchers. According to MCI norms, it is mandatory to have a minimum of 13 Casualty Medical Officers (CMO) at a facility like OGH. However, there are currently only five.

Running on full capacity

Doctors said that due to high patient inflow, as many as four operation tables in the casualty were running simultaneously on Thursday.

“This led to a situation where we had to place several victims on the floor and start treating them immediately,” said Dr. Krishna, final-year postgraduate student.

As the number of injured rose, hospital authorities simply started diverting them to private hospitals.

“At one point, we even ran out of linen. It took a lot of time for the replacements to arrive due to which the patients and relatives became restive,” another medico said.

With the government promising to pay for all medical expenses, barring one or two cases, all the injured at OGH were shifted to corporate hospitals by Friday afternoon.

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