Two years ago,when Banvarilal Mahadev Prasad,a rickshaw driver,rushed a biker to a hospital in Mulund after the latter met with an accident,he didnt know how to handle a victim during an emergency situation.
Now,after attending an awareness programme on first-aid and disaster management by the doctors of Wockhardt Hospital,he realised that how important it is to handle emergency cases. In Mumbai a city where a lot of specialised ambulances are available rickshaw drivers many a times end being the first responders to rush victims to the hospitals at the time of emergency.
India holds a dubious distinction of being the second country in the world in terms of lives lost due to accidents and trauma. Autorickshaw drivers have a critical role to play in helping victims receive emergency medical care as quickly as possible, said Dr Ravindra Karanjekar,associate vice-president,Wockhardt Hospitals. He was elaborating on the methods and techniques that auto rickshaw drivers can employ to safely convey the injured to hospitals.
For instance,the injured person may be alive on the spot after an accident or trauma,but the moment we try to pick and shift them,the injuries become very serious due to the lack of knowledge. This is because of the wrong method of rendering help. Hence,today we all must have the knowledge of first-aid and the correct method of rendering help to the injured at the time of emergency.
I helped the biker out of courtesy. Me and my friend put him in a rikshaw and rushed him to the hospital nearby. At that time,we were only wanted rush him to the hospital as soon as possible. Little we knew that we need to keep him in a correct angle to avoid blood loss and other complications, said Mahadev Prasad (47),who has been working as a rickshaw driver for 26 years.
The first few minutes are very critical for the injured persons. During a disaster,the ambulance is equipped with a single stretcher. However,the rickshaw seats can be used as stretcher while trying to lift and shift a casualty on the road who met with an accident or become unconscious, said Dr Mangit Singh,consultant physician at Wockhardt Hospital.
Rickshaw drivers were taught how to extend immediate help to casualty as police and fire brigade dont always reach on time. They were also taught how to manage an unconscious victim. For instance,one should not give anything orally and never ever try to make casualty sit. Further,they were taught to hold the patient on a two-hand seat or a three-hand seat, said Dr Singh who has alreday given over 536 lectures across the city on emergency care.
Mahadev Prasad,who is a member of a 300 rickshaw drivers group called Samrat mandal,immediately accepted the invite sent by the Wockhardt Hospital for training. If we are of any help to the society,we will come forward and help, said Mahadev Prasad.
Even though it was a slow start with 25 to 30 rickshaw drivers attending the seminar,all were engrossed to learn what to do in case of shock,fracture or when anyone falls unconscious on city roads.