Ravi Kumar Patel from 56 Rashtriya Rifles suffered a gun shot wound during a battle with militants at J & K and suffered a spinal cord injury that left the 27-year-old paralysed from the waist down. The soldier would have been written off completely had it not been for the treatment for battle casualties at Military Hospital Kirkee. “I am happy that I could do something for my country and after my rehabilitation would like to go back on the field posting,” said Ravi Kumar.
Naik Naresh Raut — from 42 Rashtriya Rifles, suffered a severe gun shot wound in January last year while fighting terrorists at Anantnag. The bullet had shattered the bone in his right thigh and the hip joint was resuscitated due to the innovative stem cell treatment at MH Kirkee. “I thought I would never be able to stand again but it is unbelievable that I have come out of trauma,” he said.
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These are just among few of the battle casualties who muster their strength and are treated here. At the 846 bed hospital spread across 134 acres, the focus is on orthopaedic and spinal injury cases, authorities told media persons. As many as 6,000 operations are performed every year. Cutting edge technologies like stem cell therapy, arthroscopic procedures and ceramic techniques are being routinely undertaken in this hospital, Brigadier H S Agrawal, Commandant, M H Kirkee said.
MH Kirkee is an evolved version of an Indo Burma General Hospital established in 1940 to look after convalescing casualties of second world war. It has grown into the largest facility for spinal injuries in the entire South East Asia. Recently the hospital has been modernised in a phase wise manner. According to Col Anil Kumar Mishra, head of the department of orthopaedics, soldiers from friendly neighbouring countries are also treated here. Presently there are six persons from Bangladesh undergoing treatment here.
While explaining the task, the commandant of the hospital Brigadier Agarwal said that each wound is unique and is taken as a challenge.
Doctors are conscious that one misstep could ruin a life. So, there is a system of collective discussion on plans to follow for the operation as also post-operative care. Over the years, lot of supporting infrastructure has also come about and two such institutions are affiliated to this hospital, namely Queen Mary’s Technical Institute and Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre. The commandant also pointed out that improvements in existing facilities is a constant battle. Recently, a proposal for new accommodation which would greatly facilitated working of the hospital has been accepted, Col Sunil Verma, in charge of hospital administration said.
OPD’s, OT complex and wards have been renovated, new instruments have been procured and waiting period of patients in various departments has also been reduced, authorities said.