Mumbai: Wear helmets to prevent head injuries, say doctors

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 11:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

More than 350 Mumbaikars were killed in road accidents between January and September this year. Around 1,500 people suffered serious brain injury in such accidents – a situation, doctors said, could be prevented.

Neuro-urgeons have come together to spread awareness on head injuries because around 30% of the patients they treat are victims of accidents. To prevent such injuries, which lead to high mortality and morbidity, the Neurological Society of India (NSI) has initiated an awareness drive with traffic police to reduce such accidents.

Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, Dr Urvashi Shah, neuropsychologist at KEM Hospital who represented NSI, said: “With accessibility to treatment, deaths due to accidents could be reduced.

However, the morbidity arising out of such accidents more or less remains the same.”  According to doctors, India has emerged as the capital of road accidents and a majority of the victims are young adults, who are in the most reproductive years of their life.

“Head injuries are perhaps the only man-made disaster, which is preventable,” said Dr Shah.

The doctors pointed out the importance of the golden hour in treating accident victims.  Serious complications of head injuries are memory loss, paralysis, epilepsy, nerve damage, language disorders and emotional disturbances which can have a lasting impact.

Studies have shown that a typical head injury victim in road accidents is a young male, 20-40 years, most often the primary bread winner of the family. Pedestrians and motorcyclists are the common victims and financial burden of head injury due to accidents is estimated to be 3% of the national GDP.

“We will promote road safety among the public and the importance of wearing helmets, which alone is a vital lifesaver for any victim,” said Dr Shah.

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