A three-day national conference on trauma care will be held in the city next month. According to the organisers, the programme includes a day-long training workshop that would be conducted at JJ hospital. An irony of sorts, as JJ – perhaps the largest public health institution in Mumbai – doesn't have a trauma centre yet.
The conference, titled "Traumasicon 2014", is an annual event of the Indian Association of Traumatology and Critical Care (IATCC) and several experts are expected to attend. Most of them are surgeons who have to deal with trauma daily in the patients they treat.
"At the conference, experts will present instructions on aspects like pre-hospital skills, trauma radiology and resuscitation. The workshop will be a good opportunity for surgeons to learn critical aspects of trauma care," said Dr Ajay Bhandarwar, professor, general surgery, Sir JJ Group of Hospitals.
The event will be held from September 11 to 14.
Bhandarwar, who is co-chairman of the organising committee, is excited as its the first time such an event is being held at JJ hospital. Experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences are also expected to participate in the conference.
Sadly, a proposal for a dedicated trauma care facility at JJ hospital is pending with the Centre for more than three years. This, despite the numerous disaster and terror attack victims treated here particularly over the past couple of decades.
Naturally, doctors at the institution are disappointed as they are handicapped to provide comprehensive emergency services in trauma cases.
It is recognised without a doubt that in the case of major accidents and incidents like terror attacks, the time immediately after the traumatic injury is sustained is when the person's chances of survival are highest and therefore immediate treatment is crucial. (This is now commonly called the "golden hour".)
A senior surgeon at JJ hospital said the absence of a trauma facility was hurting medical care at the institution, which receives patients from across the state.
"A trauma centre is not merely an emergency room. International guidelines stipulate that the centre should be equipped with a qualified trauma surgeon, a radiologist, a physician and an anaesthesiologist, apart from having trained paramedics 24x7," he said. "CT scan, MRI and X-ray facilities should also be available round the clock."
Sion hospital is the only public health facility that has a 15-bed trauma care centre, but it cannot handle large numbers or complicated cases. Several private institutions are much better prepared.
Dr TP Lahane, dean of JJ hospital, said, "We have already approached the National Rural Health Mission with a proposal for a trauma centre at our hospital. The Rs45 crore project is pending approval of the Centre since February 2011. We will also approach the state government on this matter."