Pune: Having treated deceased union minister Gopinath Munde in the past, Mumbai-based orthopedic doctor Hemant Bhandari wishes the former had paid heed to his advice a few years ago and worn a cervical collar during travel.
The doctor who has his clinic in Bandra said that after Munde’s first road accident, he consulted Bhandari at Bombay Hospital when he had an arm fracture and a condition known as ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL).
“The condition was leading to severe stiffness of spine and only mobile segment in his cervical spine was C1-C2, the place he is reported to have suffered fracture. He had said he tours a lot and that’s why we had advised wearing a cervical collar at all times, especially during travel, to avoid injury due to sudden jerky movements,” said Bhandari.
Besides media reports said that Munde was alive and asked for water after road accident that showed that his nervous system was intact, added Bhandari. “Possibly if a cervical collar was put around his neck by a trained paramedic at the time and he was stabilized on the spot and moved on a flat stretcher to hospital, there is a chance if not a guarantee that it could have helped him better,” said Bhandari.
After reading news of Munde’s death and details of accident that said Munde suffered fracture at C1-C2 junctions of the spine, which cut off oxygen supply to the brain and spine within moments of the injury, Bhandari said two important points came to his notice.
First that a cervical collar out around the senior leader’s neck within moments could probably have helped the cervical injury and secondly that rather than rushing the deceased minister to a hospital, trained paramedics called to the spot before shifting him would have proved more beneficial, claimed Bhandari.
“Abroad whenever there is an accident within minutes an ambulance reaches the spot and a proper trained paramedic staff evaluate and stabilize the patient. Until then even a doctor is allowed to interfere. In India, we need such an emergency medical response system as our ambulance have ward boys who simply lift and carry a patient. In India, we require paramedical staff who can administer the emergency treatment as per International standards, ATLS protocol ,” he said. The doctor said people suffering from cervical spondylosis, stiff neck and nerve compression are vulnerable for cervical spine injury, paralysis even after a minor trauma. “Such people must take care as not just travel but even domestic accidents can be serious,” he said