Three passengers suffered heart attacks on BEST buses in the past six months and died by the time they reached hospital. A 55-year-old man was the last. He had had a bypass surgery but suffered a heart attack while going to Dadar. He was rushed to KEM Hospital in an auto but did not survive.
To prevent further such deaths,BEST is training 26,000 drivers and conductors at 25 bus depots to respond to heart attacks.
Drivers and conductors are the first on the scene when anything happens on a bus but they have no awareness of heart ailments. We want to save passengers in the golden hour and are training them to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Anil Singhal,chief medical officer,BEST.
Two such training camps have been held so far first at Colaba bus depot in February and the second at Wadala bus depot in association with Fortis Hospital,Mulund,on May 17.
Last month,a staff driving schoolchildren from Anik to Wadala bus depot felt chest pain. At that time he did not realise what was happening. When he visited hospital later,he was told he had suffered a minor heart attack. So it is important the staff is aware of heart problems, Singhal said.
Fortis doctors demonstrated CPR techniques to sufficiently revive patients until they reach hospital or an ambulance arrives.
Whenever a passenger experiences heart attack on a bus,the driver contacts traffic control room and is given location of the nearest hospital. The passenger is then taken in a private vehicle. This training will equip them to help passengers before they receive medical attention, said BEST spokesperson Virendra Bagul.
I have not had to face a medical crisis on a bus so far but will now be ready for one, said Prakash Shinde,a driver.