Karnataka

Temple tragedy: Health Department to keep monitoring victims

A file photo of doctors treating a victim of the Sulwadi temple ‘prasada’ poisoning case at K.R. Hospital in Mysuru.  

The Department of Health and Family Welfare will keep monitoring the victims of the Sulwadi temple ‘prasada’ poisoning case even after their discharge from hospitals here. The department plans to deploy doctors from Mysuru in primary health centres (PHCs) in villages around Hanur for follow-up and emergency treatment.

Two doctors from Mysore Medical College and Research Institute will be available at every village that had a victim, even though doctors have said those discharged from hospital have recovered and are unlikely to face further complications.

Lack of availability of doctors and facilities in public healthcare institutions in places around Hanur and Kollegal in Chamarajanagar was cited as the reason the victims were shifted to Mysuru after the tragedy. They had to be admitted to K.R. Hospital and 10 private hospitals. The nearest ventilator was available 50 km from Sulwadi (in Kamagere). In fact, locals have suggested that some lives might have been saved had these places been equipped with healthcare facilities capable of handling cases of poisoning.

Not in a position to take any risk at this stage, the department, which has already come under flak for poor facilities in rural and town areas, has taken steps to post doctors and establish facilities at these PHCs and villages temporarily, until some permanent steps are taken.

So far, 52 patients have been discharged — 21 on Tuesday and 32 on Wednesday —and they have returned to their villages. As many as 22 are still on ventilator while seven are in the ICU.

Three ambulances, including two ventilator-equipped ones, have been sanctioned to Hanur, Kollegal and Martalli as a temporary step.

“There is no need for periodic check-up since the patients who have been discharged are those who had little effects of poisoning, unlike those who are still on ventilator and in the ICU. Nevertheless, we are taking all precautions, in anticipation of follow-up treatment. Patients need not panic,” said District Health Officer K.H. Prasad. “However, we need to be careful with those on ventilator support after their discharge. There was a counselling session by psychiatrists after the discharge of patients on Wednesday,” he told The Hindu.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:53:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/temple-tragedy-health-department-to-keep-monitoring-victims/article25791967.ece

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