| Always there
Guwahati, April 2: Government hospitals in Assam will henceforth have specialists in their emergency wards 24x7.
A government official said the increase in number of emergency patients, suffering from critical injuries because of road accidents, bomb blasts and other disasters, in government hospitals had necessitated the move.
Gauhati Medical College and Hospital receives about 250 patients everyday in its emergency ward, he added.
“For such patients, the first 60 minutes are crucial as doctors take decisions on treatment. Normally, junior doctors attend to emergency patients first and consult seniors much later. This often results in wastage of valuable time in giving correct treatment. Precious time is wasted in completion of preliminary medical investigations. This situation leads to either death or permanent disabilities in patients,” the official said.
The government has, therefore, decided to deploy specialists and senior doctors in emergency wards round-the-clock to treat serious patients. Junior doctors will work along with the specialists, he added.
“The emergency wards will be converted into separate and independent departments. Besides the hospital superintendent, the government is likely to appoint an additional superintendent to efficiently run the emergency department,” the official said.
The GMCH has already introduced the “golden hour” or the first 60 minutes of care in emergency cases, though it has not yet declared this officially.
Ilias Ali, head of emergency medicine & trauma centre, GMCH, said, “In emergency care, the golden hour is the first 60 minutes after the occurrence of a major multi-system trauma. It is believed that a patient’s chances of survival are greatest if he or she receives the right care within the first hour.”
Ali said while junior doctors in his department were doing an excellent job, senior doctors and specialists were joining the former during golden hour.
He said the government had decided to set up an independent emergency department in the GMCH and they were in touch with the Medical Council of India to introduce a post-graduate course on emergency care.
“With the introduction of a PG course in emergency care, we will have a pool of specialists to deal with emergency cases in the coming years. Specialists and senior doctors are now attending to emergency cases at the GMCH all the time, even during the dead hours of the night,” Ali said. Sources said the Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh, the Silchar Medical College and Hospital and the Jorhat Medical College and Hospital would also have independent emergency departments with specialists attending patients round-the-clock. Modern infrastructure like an emergency ICU, operation theatre and observation rooms would be created in the emergency wards.
Ali said his department had treated 1,68,543 patients from its inception in 2010 till March 26 this year.