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Miles to go for trauma care at govt. hospitals

R. Sujatha
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In a city with four large government-run tertiary care hospitals, trauma care continues to languish. All the four hospitals — the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GGH), Stanley Hospital (SMCH), Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMCH) and Royapettah Hospital (GRH) — have a dedicated casualty ward each but they lack the necessary infrastructure for them to be termed trauma care centres.

A dedicated trauma care centre should have equipment necessary to provide immediate intensive care to patients before they are shifted for surgery or other modes of treatment. More than six years ago, orthopaedicians in the Government General Hospital sent a proposal to the government for setting up such a centre.

Over the years, the doctors have heard much about it but nothing has come of it. A decision to develop the K.K. Nagar Peripheral Hospital as a dedicated centre has also not materialised. When the new government took over in 2011, orthopaedicians involved in the project said the proposal had been again sent to the government.

The announcement to set up a dedicated building in KMC was made in 2008 and Rs. 9 crore was sanctioned in the Union health budget.

Initially, the trauma care centre was to be housed in the first floor but there were practical difficulties in setting up machines and shifting patients. Several rounds of paperwork followed and hospital authorities said more queries were raised by the Central government. “We expect that the building will become functional by the end of this month,” said Dean P. Ramakrishnan.

At Stanley Hospital, a seven-storey dedicated structure is expected to get ready in a month, according to the head of the institution S. Geetalakshmi. One of the twin towers with six floors will be a dedicated trauma care centre. The cost of the project is Rs. 45 crore.

The GGH, which receives the largest number of patients every day, has an overflowing trauma care ward and is regularly in need of funds. “Thirty of the 50 patients brought by EMRI 108 are road accident victims,” said Dean V. Kanagasabai. “Eighty five per cent of them are two-wheeler accident victims and mostly they are males in the age group of 18 to 45 years.”

A project launched by GVK EMRI 108 in the government hospital in Tambaram and Padiyanallur primary health centre nearly a year ago is yet to be completed.

The trauma centre will use the facilities, including a few dedicated beds, provided by the hospital. According to EMRI officials, every day across the State, they handle around 2,100 emergencies of which 26 per cent are road traffic accident victims. “This number goes up during weekends,” said an official.

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