The KEM hospital’s psychiatry department has started counselling 19 injured patients who were admitted after the Friday stampede at Elphinstone Road station. Doctors have identified at least six patients who are suffering from difficulties in overcoming the tragedy that led to 23 deaths. The doctors said while some were extremely happy to be alive calling their survival a “miracle”, a few were suffering from anger or anxiety after the tragedy.
“We will further evaluate six of them. In such cases, a victim requires family support. Fortunately, every injured patient has strong family support. We have counselled families to allow the injured to vent out their feelings, even if they repeatedly talk about the stampede,” said head of psychiatry department Dr Shubhangi Parkar.
Those identified with stress have been put on anti-anxiety medication. Victims of such stampedes that are completely unexpected and leave behind bad memories may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Parkar said one of the patients saw a man walk over the chest of another trapped commuter in an attempt to escape. “Such memories are hard to let go. Those who were unconscious do not remember most of the stampede, but those who were conscious and saw everything have trouble sleeping,” she added. According to dean Dr Avinash Supe, six patients suffered from sleeplessness and were put on sedatives.
Psychiatry doctors will follow up closely on the cases of those injured in the stampede on September 29 for at least three to four weeks. The stampede on Elphinstone Road station’s foot overbridge killed 23 and injured 39.
“Two injured patients are showing anger over why this happened to them,” said a doctor, adding that they might take a few months to overcome the trauma. The hospital discharged 14 of the 19 patients Tuesday.