Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013

Handling medical crisis at disaster like Savar

PHOTO:PALASH KHAN

PHOTO:PALASH KHAN

Collapse of a building at Savar, an industrial area of Bangladesh is country’s one of the worst disasters. In addition to death, a large number of survivors are suffering from severe trauma/injuries and many who are trapped inside the collapsed complex are crying out from the rubbles having lack of lifesaving oxygen, food or water.
For those who survived with injuries, prompt medical attention is crucial to gain functional recovery. Even the minor injuries or fractures can become life-threatening because they are left open to some dangerous bacterial infections such as Tetanus.
Managing such disaster needs certain skill and preparedness, prompt response in order to lessen the impact of disasters. For any disaster, preparedness is very important and mandatory to combat the disaster but unfortunately we are not aware of it.
The authority, doctors, nurse, paramedics, medical students in Enam Medical College and Hospital at Savar are trying to handle the disaster. The first and foremost thing is not to be panicked or not to create panic. We should help to rescue the victims and send him/her to a nearer hospital or safer place as soon as possible. Initial assessment and intervention can save the injured from life threatening complications. We should sort out the victims who need immediate life support and arrange accordingly.
Oxygen, blood transfusion, intravenous fluids, pain killer injections, tablets, anti tetanus injection and antibiotics are the mainstay medicine for initial stabilisation of the survivors.
If there is fracture in any limb, stabilise the fracture part by cast, plaster or by any means that support and immobilise the broken part. If there is any bleeding, try to compress the bleeding point. If there is head injury, chest injury with respiratory distress, specialised support need to be arranged for them.
Bangladesh is at risk for earthquake and other natural calamities like flood, tornado but preparedness for managing any disaster is very little. Concerned authority should take urgent initiative to serve immediate health needs in crisis with rapid and coordinating life-saving care.

The author is a Professor of Paediatrics and Director of Community Based Medical College Hospital (CBMC), Mymensingh.
E-mail: mmukkhan@gmail.com