Pizza boys crowd trauma centres

City hospitals report high number of accident cases involving food delivery staff,personnel say they are penalised for running late.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Published: March 22, 2012 4:19:59 am

The promise of discounts for not delivering “food on time” makes consumers happy,but one section is paying a heavy price to keep this promise — the delivery staff.

Trauma units in city hospitals are receiving more and more cases of food delivery personnel with head and orthopaedic injuries.

“Food chains advertise home delivery schemes with the condition of time-bound delivery. But if a person has to risk his or her life to ensure someone’s dinner is on time,it is really unfortunate,” Dr Sanjiv Bhoi,Head of Emergency Services at AIIMS Trauma Centre,told Newsline.

In November last year,a pizza delivery boy lost his life while on duty.

At the AIIMS Trauma Centre,a 21-year-old,employed with a pizza chain store in Greater Kailash,is admitted with fractures in his right thigh bone and knee cap,and a gaping open wound. He was admitted on March 3,after his delivery bike was hit by an Alto car while he was returning from “assignment”.

Doctors have been conducting debridement procedures to salvage his leg.

“There are days when I drive 10 hours. On Friday nights,we work for 14 hours. If I miss a delivery or don’t reach office within 20-30 minutes of delivering one order,I am scolded publicly. How can we drive safely? Small accidents are common,” the patient said. He has been working with the pizza chain since May 2011.

Another delivery boy,employed at a Green Park pizza outlet,said,“We see small accidents everyday. Last month,one of our employees had a fracture in his arm. But after two days of leave,he was back on the job.”

There are no records of the number of accident cases involving delivery staff,but most hospitals claim they are among the “most common accident victims” in the emergency unit.

Dr Bhoi said the AIIMS Trauma Centre receives four-five cases every month.

At Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital,Dr Sunil Saxena,Head of Emergency Medical Services,said,“About four to five per cent of our patients are food delivery boys. Since they drive two-wheelers,head and limb injuries are common.”

A medical officer at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital’s Emergency said,“We get more such cases during the weekends. I attend to 10-12 fracture cases of delivery personnel in a month.”

At Sushruta Trauma Centre in North Delhi,Medical Superintendent Dr S K Bindal said “no segregated data of such cases are being maintained”. But a consultant in the Surgery department of the hospital said,“Of the annual 10,000-12,000 cases we see in the Emergency,a good 5 to 6 per cent will easily be those of delivery boys.”

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