Non-lethal? At SMHS hospital, 2 deaths due to pellets in 5 days

‘Rajpora boy’s brain was shattered; 25-yr-old youth had pellet injuries in heart’

ZEHRU NISSA
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jul 15 2016 12:19AM | Updated Date: Jul 15 2016 12:19AM
Non-lethal? At SMHS hospital, 2 deaths due to pellets in 5 daysPhoto: Habib Naqash/GK
In the past five days, two deaths have taken place due to pellet injuries at SMHS hospital here, the records reveal.
On Saturday (July 9, 2016), doctors said a youth aged 20 was brought to the hospital with severe pellet injuries in his head.
“A spray of pellets had pierced his head, making a large hole on one side and exit from the other side,” the doctors, who wished not to be named, said. “His whole brain was shattered.”
“We intubated him but he was non-salvageable,” the doctors, who were part of the team in Trauma Operation Theatre, said. “He died in no time, although we attempted to resuscitate him.”
The victim, they said, was seen vide Card No 40248.
Doctors said his name was not recorded as he was brought to the hospital by people who did not know him. “It was a chaos and thus impossible to record all details of all the patients that time,” they said.
On the morning of July 10, 25-year-old Altaf Ahmed from Rajpora Pulwama died at the Hospital.
Admitted vide MRD No 72517, Ahmad had multiple pellet injuries in his chest. “We removed some pellets but it came to fore that he had cardiac temponade (fluid in the sac in which heart is enclosed) caused by the holes that pellets had made in his heart. He was put in ICU but he died,” doctors said.
Altaf had been brought to hospital on July 9, 2016.
“His internal injuries were really bad. Multiple pellets had made innumerable laceration on his thoracic cavity and vital organs,” the doctors who attended to him said.
The two deaths are the latest addition to the toll of casualties caused by pellets while police have been beating the drum of using “non-lethal pellet guns” on street protesters. Doctors said pellet injuries can be lethal and a number of injured currently undergoing treatment at the SMHS hospital have been hit by pellets.
“It is not just about eyes. A pellet anywhere in body, especially in upper body can be lethal,” Dr Javed Ahmed, senior surgeon at Department of Surgery in SMHS Hospital, said.
He recalled that a number of patients had ‘intensive surgeries’ necessitated due to serious pellet injuries.
“Some people hit by a pellet gun are misled to believe that they have been hit by bullets. The injury is much worse,” Dr Javed said, adding: “The probability of hitting a vital organ is more due to the high number of ‘mini-bullets’ that pellets take the shape of, when fired.”
“Such pellets fired from close-range make a large hole,” Dr Javed said.

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