Firearm injuries: 90% victims hit above waist, say doctors

A large number of persons injured critically in police, army and CRPF action in the past 12 days in Kashmir have received firearm injuries above waist—one of the main reasons attributed by doctors for high incidence of casualties.
Firearm injuries: 90% victims hit above waist, say doctors
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A large number of persons injured critically in police, army and CRPF action in the past 12 days in Kashmir have received firearm injuries above waist—one of the main reasons attributed by doctors for high incidence of casualties.

The SHMS hospital here admitted over 400 patients till Wednesday with different firearm injuries—including bullet and pellet injuries—above waist, hospital sources said.

"There is a pattern behind the action by forces on the protesters. At least 90 percent of these persons had firearm injuries above waist—in head, chest, and abdomen," said a senior doctor at the hospital.

Seven persons who were brought in critical condition to the hospital with bullet and pellet injuries in vital organs died there in the past 12 days, he said.

"We have never received so many critically-injured persons in such a short span of time. It is the worst I have ever seen wherein a huge number of people had firearm injuries above waist," said a surgeon at the hospital. "It seems the objective was to kill or maim a person for entire life."

Kashmir has witnessed 44 deaths in police and CRPF action in the past 12 days after protests broke out in the wake of killing of militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.

A senior administrator at Government Medical College (Srinagar) said the two hospitals, SMHS and Bone & Joint hospitals, carried out over 450 surgeries on pellet and bullet injured victims during these days, including more than 350 surgeries at SMHS alone from July 9. The hospital carried out record number of 71 surgeries on July 10.

Of total surgeries carried out at the SMHS, 25 were major, conducted in Trauma Operation Theater, with the injured having received bullet injuries above waist. Besides, more than 100 eye-surgeries were conducted by the Ophthalmology Department during the period.

While 52 persons with bullet injuries above waist were admitted to the hospital during the past 12 days, 155 persons with pellet injuries in their eyes reported at the hospital during this period. Another 12 persons were admitted to the hospital with injuries due to shells apart from 108 persons with pellet injuries in different parts of body, other than eyes.

The firearm injury below abdomen also becomes life threatening at times owing to damage to a major vessel which results in excessive loss of blood in short span of time, doctors said.

"Two boys were hit by bullets in femoral artery but we could save only one of them. The other boy died due to excessive loss of blood within few minutes only," said the doctor.

The SK Institute of Medical Sciences Soura here admitted 99 patients during these days, 30 of them with firearm injuries above waist including six persons with bullet injuries in their vital organs.

"Three persons continue to be in critical condition. Of the total injured persons 25 had bullet injuries while 40 had pellet injuries," said the doctor.

The situation is no different at SKIMS, Bemina which admitted 106 patients out of which 37 were operated upon.

"We operated 24 youth who were hit in eyes by pellets and rest of them were hit by bullets," said a doctor at the hospital.

The B&J Hospital admitted 65 persons with bullet injuries in their limbs and carried out over 40 surgeries so far, said a doctor there.

The reports compiled by Directorate of Health Services Kashmir said at least 125 youth were injured with bullets and 595 due to pellets, most of them above waist.

Among the districts, the highest number of 465 injured persons were treated in Anantnag hospital followed by Pulwama (455), Kulgam (309), Baramulla (170), Bandipora (161), Shopian (153), Kupwara (149), Budgam (39) and Ganderbal (29). The report said that nearly 200 injured persons had been operated for major and minor surgeries in the district hospitals.

Majority of the surgeries, 50, were conducted in district Hospital Pulwama followed by District Hospital Anantnag with 44 while 20 surgeries were conducted in District Hospital Baramulla.

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