Established in 1948,SMHS hospital has no Trauma Centre

Critical Cases Referred To Overburdened SKIMS

FAHEEM ASLAM

Srinagar, Aug 5: Notwithstanding heavy flow of critically injured persons to SMHS hospital from across the Kashmir valley, the decades-old premiere healthcare centre is having no Trauma Centre, thus risking the lives of critically injured patients.
In absence of the full-fledged Trauma Centre—with sufficient number of Trauma specialists and adequate infrastructure—scores of persons with bullet injuries are referred to the SK Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura, which, according to insiders, is already flooded with trauma patients.
“It is really sad that the successive governments have ignored this vital area despite the fact that in the past 20 years of conflict, persons with bullet injuries throng the hospital every now and then. But we are unable to treat them in absence of a full-fledged trauma centre. If we receive a person with severe bullet or teargas injury in his head, we refer him to SKIMS,” said a doctor at SMHS hospital, insisting not to be named. “This time general surgeons are managing trauma cases when it should have been Trauma specialists. The general surgeons have, no doubt, adequate experience in handing trauma patients, but ultimately you need the trauma specialists to deal with critical cases. And you also need adequate infrastructure to save their lives. Right now, there are only two surgeons specialized in Trauma. They recently received training at New Delhi.”
Informed sources said the state has a few super-specialists and Neurosurgeons trained in Trauma, but they have been posted in district hospitals. “In the present crisis, some of them should have been deputed to the SMHS hospital given the rising number of trauma patients we receive injuries during the ongoing crisis,” they said.
The SMHS insiders say the hospital has no separate department of Accident and Emergency. “Though few surgeons were sent to Delhi for specialized training in these areas, they are not sufficient to cope with the heavy inflow of accident, emergency and trauma cases,” said a hospital official.
He said since the SMHS hospital is located in the heart of the city, trauma patients prefer this hospital to SKIMS which is on the city outskirts. “By not having trauma specialists or trauma centre in SMHS, we are just playing with the lives of people. By the time they reach SKIMS from SMHS, they can die on way. So the government needs to do away with administrative hassles and ensure that the hospital has trauma specialists,” he said.
A senior doctor at SMHS said the hospital urgently needed a Trauma Unit with Cardio-thoracic vascular surgeon, Neurosurgeon, General Surgeon, Trauma Surgeon, Orthopaedician, and Anaesthesiologist, Reception and resuscitation team and also a fully operational Operation Theatre. “The Unit should also have a Triage room, where patients are categorized, prioritized for immediate, delayed and routine (domically/home) treatment,” they said.
While some Trauma centres have been established in Pattan, Kangan and Qazigund areas, they function without adequate staff and infrastructure, thus defeating their very objective of establishment.
When contacted, the Director, DHSK, Dr M A Wani, said they had only one trauma specialist. “We are already running short of staff. So we can’t shift surgeons to any other place. They are required in district hospitals,” he told Greater Kashmir. “We receive trauma patients in district hospitals as well. But we have only one traumatologists posted in Pattan. So it is not possible to shift him. We ourselves need to augment the staff in the district hospitals.”
The Principal, GMC, Dr Shahida Mir said, “We do feel difficulty in treating patients with poly-trauma (multiple trauma). We shift them to SKIMS because there you have the neuro-surgeons or other surgeons required for the job.”
But, she said, a full-fledged Trauma Centre was coming up at Shereen Bagh near SMHS hospital in near future. “We certainly need traumatologists. This time we have just a few surgeons who have received training in Trauma or its allied fields from AIIMS New Delhi or from Pondicherry, but we are certainly in need of the full-fledged Trauma centre and adequate number of trauma specialists to cope up with the flow of trauma patients. We have already referred the posts for the upcoming Trauma centre to the administrative department which will in turn refer them to the Public Service Commission. And I am sure that by the time the Centre comes up, we will have the recruitments done,” Dr Shahida said.
The SMHS Hospital was established in 1948 at Karan Nagar in the heart of Srinagar city as a Government-owned General Hospital to provide patient care to needy patients. Primary and secondary medical care in the major specialties of Medicine, Surgery and Gynaecology was made available to the general public on OPD and Inpatient basis.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST




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