July 15, 2011 2:58:32 am
An emergency siren went off at G T Hospital near VT as soon as news trickled in that Mumbai has been yet again hit by serial bomb blasts. This was a signal to all nurses,resident doctors,ward boys and sweepers to gather at the casualty ward to gear up to receive patients.
It was quite chaotic and patients were screaming in pain. We began by cleaning all the burns victims. As we began sanitising their wounds,their skins began peeling because of the burns. There seemed to be chemical traces in some wounds, said a nurse who did not wish to be named. Khoon ki nadiyan thi (we saw rivers of blood), she said.
Several nurses here had been on duty during the 26/11 attacks as well. Soon after those three days in 2008,the hospital as a policy began stocking nearly double the amount of required bandages,cotton dressing strips,cloth and bedsheets to ensure that supplies lasted long during an emergency.
Patients with serious injuries were rushed into surgery. Patients who had stabilised were shifted to ward 11; those with intense burns were transferred to J J Hospital overnight.
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Of the initial rush of patients,some were brought in dead in all GT received four bodies from both Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House. A severed head was also brought in separately within an hour of the blast.
Although they were not on duty on Wednesday evening,a few senior nurses living in quarters just behind the hospital rushed to take charge of the injured at the casualty ward.
We put student nurses with each patient. Most patients were in intense pain and several had foreign bodies like asbestos and other metal parts in their wounds. We began dressing their wounds, a senior nurse said.
There was a lot of running around in the initial few hours until we were sure that most patients had received medical attention, said a doctor.
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