The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 19 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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MCI team to test emergency status

Guwahati, Dec. 18: The Medical Council of India will visit Assam early next year to ascertain whether the state’s medical colleges have the wherewithal to introduce a course on medical emergency.

If the MCI grants permission, Assam will be among the few states in the country to introduce such a course.

An Assam government official told The Telegraph that the government had submitted a proposal last year seeking permission to set up an independent emergency medicine department in Gauhati Medical College and Hospital to introduce graduate and post-raduate courses.

“MD courses in emergency medicine were available in select universities in the US and UK some years back. So far, this course is being taught in All India Institute of Medical Sciences and a few other medical colleges in the country,” he said.

The official said emergency resuscitation has gained importance in recent years and with the number of accidents and trauma- related deaths increasing, the “golden hour” has only gained prominence in hospitals.

The golden hour denotes the first hour after the impact or incident. If the required emergency treatment is provided in this duration, then most trauma victims are said to have a high chance of survival.

There is a sharp rise in number of emergency patients, suffering from critical injuries because of road accidents, bomb blasts and other disasters, in government hospitals in Assam. The GMCH normally receives nearly 300 patients everyday in its emergency ward.

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 in Assam’s hospitals.

“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. Considering such circumstances, the medical colleges in the state will have produce a pool of doctors of emergency medicine,” a source in the directorate of medical education said.

Sources said the MCI has responded positively to Dispur’s proposal and expected to visit GMCH as well Assam Medical College and Hospital, Dibrugarh for inspection by March next year.

Ilias Ali, head of emergency and trauma centre, GMCH, said emergency medicine is yet to receive its due importance in India, unlike in the US and UK, where it is an integral part of the acute trauma care procedure.

He said the AIIMS is currently imparting short-term training course on emergency medicine to doctors which is not enough for a state like Assam plagued by disasters like bomb blasts and natural calamities.

“After finishing the emergency medicine course, doctors will become competent enough to handle heart patients as well accident victims. In short, he will act like a life saver,” Ali said. An assessor of MCI, Ali recently inspected a few medical colleges outside the state to grant permission for the course.

He said the GMCH has adequate infrastructures and facilities to introduce emergency medicine course.