The death of 40-year-old Mubinjaheera Sayyed, the victim of a drunk driving accident, has brought focus on the inefficient emergency services provided by BMC. Even as highway accidents continue to claim lives due to lack of immediate intervention, the BMC is yet to put in place an integrated emergency services mechanism that provides life support to patients at the site of accident.
Chembur resident Aarti Shetty, driving under the influence of alcohol, rammed her BMW into a rickshaw on the Sion-Panvel highway, killing Sayyed, who was travelling with her husband Mohammed Ali and 19-year-old son Razak early Thursday morning. The patients were rushed to BMC-run Rajawadi Hospital at around 4am. Mubinjaheera was in need of immediate neurosurgery, a facility that is not available in any of the sixteen BMC-run hospitals. Inspite of emergency medical services (EMS) worth Rs1.5 crores on the Rajawadi hospital campus, it was not used to mobilise the patient to KEM hospital for surgery. “We were asked to arrange our own ambulance and ferry the patient at our own cost in a private cardiac ambulance,” rued Nadir Ali, the deceased’s brother.
Director of medical education and dean of BMC-run KEM Hospital, Dr Sandhya Kamath, said, “Rajawadi hospital is attached to Sion Hospital in a programme wherein super speciality surgeons visit smaller hospitals for planned surgeries. Neurosurgeons, or any other kind of super speciality doctors, are not available in peripheral hospitals for emergencies at the moment.” Ali Raza, Sayyed’s eldest son, says that after his mother was taken to KEM, the family had to wait for a good four hours before she was operated on.
Wasting ten hours before Mubinjaheera was taken in for craniotomy (a brain surgery procedure) was a result of chaos that reign in absence of a well-oiled EMS system in Mumbai.
“Apart from stabilisation on the spot, intracranial bleeding is a condition where a patient should be operated upon immediately. An integrated EMS service facility to trace the closest cardiac ambulance is needed,” said Dr Gustad Daver, spokesperson at Hinduja Hospital.