In less than a week’s time, two Mumbaikars have lost their limbs in railway accidents. While 16-year-old Monica More has taken the loss bravely, Tanveer Shaikh (31) – who lost both his legs and recuperating at LTMG Sion Hospital – wants to forget the incident as a bad dream.
However, plastic surgeons in the city feel that it is high time to educate railway authorities and traffic police to take prompt action so that the detached body parts can be salvaged. In most of the cases, the victims reach the hospital late, making it difficult for doctors to save their limbs.
They say re-attaching a detached body part can be done successfully if the detached body part can be preserved properly and surgery is done within limited time.
Dr Samir Kumta, micro vascular surgeon at Lilavati hospital who has done a few hundred replantation surgeries, said, “The common mistake people do while handling such accident cases is they think the severed limb is contaminated and can’t be attached. This is followed by taking the victim to a hospital which is not equipped to handle such cases.”
He said these people should know where the replantation surgeries are done. “There is no point in taking such victims to a peripheral hospital like Rajawadi hospital where doctors are not equipped to handle such cases. More closer the severed body part is to the hip or shoulder, the lesser time we have to save it,” added Dr Kumta.
“Most of the cases, people who accompany such victims to hospital leave the detached limb at the accident site as they feel it is of no use. Not preserving the body part is another problem,” said Dr Amresh Baliarsingh, head of the plastic surgery department at BYL Nair hospital.
Doctors say creating awareness will help save body parts. Dr Ashok Gupta, head of plastic surgery department at Bombay hospital and president of association of plastic surgeon of India, said, “There are guidelines on how to handle such limb detachment cases to save it for re-attachment surgery. We need to create awareness among people like railway police who see such cases frequently.”
What should be done?
Do not take patient to the nearest hospital, but to the nearest centre where reimplantation facility is available
These centres should be known to police, railway police, social workers, and general public
Clean wound with N Saline and give a good dressing
Call replantation centre immediately
While transporting the severed body part:
Place severed part in a clean plastic bag
Seal/tie/tape the bag
Place it in a mixture of ice and water
No direct contact with ice
Do not immerse in saline/water any other fluid