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Thursday, Nov 22, 2001

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Critical care that counts

Jaya TV's ``Avasara Sigichai'' seems to focus more on how accident victims are cared for after they are removed to a hospital rather than on first aid that could be rendered on the spot.

AS A teenager, like all other star-struck youngsters, Rajesh Khanna, the heart throb of the tinsel world, represented a superstar figure to me. He remained so till I happened to view a programme on Doordarshan.

I witnessed a cardio-thoracic surgeon, sewing a hole in the heart. He appeared as nonchalant as my grandmother darning a tear in my "pattu pavadai'' with her nimble fingers, thimble, needle and thread.

This wrought a transformation in me and I switched camps to dub the surgeon as the real super hero.

I experienced the same feeling after viewing the ``Emergency'' or ``Avasara Sigichai'' programme telecast every Sunday at 11 a.m. on Jaya TV.

I wonder how many other surgeons would have emerged super stars in the viewing publics' firmament.

Admitting this programme seems to have been inspired by either ``Trauma'' or ``Life in the Emergency Room'' telecast on the Western channels, due credit must still be given to the producers for realising early the value of this programme to society and for launching on its production straightaway.

The episode I viewed featured a two-wheeler rider literally paying through his nose for disregarding the rules of the road. From the time an ambulance removed him, till he was subjected to tests and operated upon in hospital, every detail was graphically portrayed. Dr. Sridhar, a wizard of a plastic surgeon, explained the repair work that had to be performed on the badly injured face of the trauma victim.

The task involved the joint endeavour of several other specialists.

At the start of the programme a warning flashed that only those above 16 years of age should be allowed to watch it. Being too technical in nature, I feel that the various steps in the operation theatre and the close look at the trauma victim were not necessary.

The unanimous opinion of all viewers (medical and non-medical) is that the programme should incorporate important details on first aid for trauma victims.

Nevertheless, the enormous stress undergone, the time and trouble taken, the infinite patience and skill of the operating faculty could be appreciated at close quarters. After the follow-up stages when the patient was well on the road to recovery his opinion and that of his family were sought.

The episode was wound up with the best lesson taught that if he had cared to observe the rules of the road all the suffering could have been avoided.

Agreed, the programme deals with an emergency and hence, sentiments such as fear, panic and shock are expressed. Even then one feels that the frightening background score is not justified.

More soothing music can always spur healing and not divert attention from the main happenings.

It is a relevant and informative programme for those who can afford such costly critical care.


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