The driver injured in the accident at Sunguvarchathiram was first taken to two govt. hospitals before being referred to GGH for further treatment

The accident involving a government bus and a trailer at Santhavelur village in Sunguvarchathiram on Wednesday, which left six dead on the spot, emphasised the need for trauma care centres.

Trauma care for accident victims is available in teaching medical institutions near the State capital but not in those in smaller towns.

The injured driver of the bus, Anbu, was taken to two other government hospitals before finally being transported to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital for treatment. He was first taken to the Kancheepuram GH from where he was referred to the Chengalpettu GH, which in turn referred him to the hospital in Chennai.

At the Kancheepuram GH, the driver could only be stabilised. At Chengalpettu, he was provided better care though he ultimately had to be transferred to Chennai for further treatment, an official said.

According to sources in GVK EMRI 108 emergency ambulance service, it took 25 minutes to shift the patient from the accident spot to the first hospital. However, during peak hours, it could have taken at least 40 minutes. “Immediate intubation and controlling any bleeding is important. It is when breathing is compromised that complications arise,” a senior EMRI official said.

In its annual budget, the State government had announced it would join hands with the Centre to develop a network of trauma care centres along the national highways. Trauma care centres have been proposed at the government medical college hospitals in Vellore, Kilpauk, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Nagercoil and Salem.

In 2008, then Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss sanctioned Rs. 37 crore for setting up trauma care centres in Government Kilpauk Medical College (KMC), Stanley hospital, and the GHs at Vellore and Krishnagiri. The new building for the centre at Stanley is nearing completion but KMC, which got the building in 2011, is yet to receive funds to equip the centre.

According to a senior hospital official in KMC, the Central government had been seeking statements of expenditure for the previous grants given to the hospital four or five years ago. “Sometimes they had sent the funds directly to the heads of departments. Some of them have since retired. We have almost completed the process of collecting the details of all grants provided by the Central government. Only when we produce the documents will they give the new grant,” said the official.

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