At least 200 doctors, close to 20 ambulances and a dozen medical camps deployed by seven government hospitals helped tackle emergency situations during the Maratha Kranti Morcha rally on Wednesday. According to estimates, over 4,000 protesters in the rally required medical aid for nausea, dehydration, fever and hypoglycemia during the six hours when they walked from Byculla Zoo to Azad Maidan.“We deployed three bikes to scout for patients on the route. They stabilised those requiring medical attention before an ambulance could arrive,” said Dr Amol Pandit, the Mumbai district manager for 108 ambulance service.
According to Pandit, a green corridor was created for ambulances and an emergency plan was discussed in advance to keep doctors ready. The state deployed 130 doctors and 15 ambulances while the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stationed 70 doctors. The 108 ambulance service had stationed 35 doctors and paramedic staff in ambulances to transport patients to hospitals.
“We treated patients with paracetamol tablets and oral saline solution. While most had dehydration, at least two were referred to G T hospital. One sustained a minor foot injury and the other had symptoms of hypertension,” said assistant medical officer of A Ward, Sunil Savalkar.
Outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, a medical camp saw over 2,300 people for minor treatment. In total, over 4,000 who took part in the Maratha Kranti Morcha rally were treated for fever, dehydration, weakness and nausea.
“Some patients were brought here for hypoglycemia. But almost everyone was treated on an out-patient department basis,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean at KEM hospital. The police, doctors and ambulance staff worked in close coordination and supplies of IV fluids and paracetamol tablets were kept in abundance. Doctors said they feared a stampede-like situation that could have led to injuries and casualties.
“But the procession went smoothly. We had enough doctors on the road,” said Dr T P Lahane, the dean at J J hospital.
The 108 ambulance service treated 66 patients on the field and took 18 others to Gokuldas Tejpal, St George, and J J hospitals. KEM, Sion, Nair, Cama and Albless, G T, J J and St George hospitals had pressed their doctors into service. According to Dr Lahane, three patients are admitted to St George hospital. Of the the three, the condition of a woman, who had leptospirosis, turned serious during the rally.