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Packed hospital,empty streets

In one hospital,10 doctors treat over 100 wounded in 72 hours.

Written by Apurva | Muzaffarnagar |
September 10, 2013 1:15:35 am

For the 10 doctors in Muzaffarnagar’s civil hospital,the last 72 hours have been a blur. Twenty-two bodies have been brought in and more than 100 treated for injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to bullet wounds.

With most treatment being conducted within the confines of the emergency room and makeshift rooms and wards arranged to house the injured,the district’s largest hospital has been creaking under their weight. All treatment is being conducted in the emergency room,with only 10 doctors and 10 attendants at the hospital.

Dr Ashok Agrawal,the chief medical officer of the hospital,said,“For the past three days,close to every 15 minutes have seen a new patient coming in,most with serious injuries. The sheer deluge is such that no clear plan can be formed. The doctor who is free at the time attends to the patient coming in.”

Doctors said that every free bed in the hospital,across wards,is being used to house victims of the violence. “As the general wards can only hold about 30 people at a time,we are using the eye care ward,the geriatric ward,the family care centre as well. There are only four doctors to conduct postmortems. Food in terms of biscuits and milk has also been arranged by the hospital administration,” said another doctor.

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“What complicates the situation is that the police bring the injured in batches,as they are collected and then put in an ambulance. I got my first few hours of sleep in 42 hours this afternoon,” the doctor said.

A nurse posted at the post-op centre said all staff had been working double shifts for the past three days. “We come to the hospital in an ambulance everyday,as that is the only vehicle that is allowed on the roads,” she said.

However,the focus on attending to those affected in the violence has resulted in others being allegedly ignored. “I have been in the hospital for a week,as my wife was due to give birth,” said Pratap Singh Bisht. “After my son was born two days ago,very little attention has been paid to both mother and child. There is no food in the hospital and I am not allowed to go out because of the curfew.”

Hospital sources agreed that there might be some such cases but added ,“We are doing all we can. We are also treating people with heart cases,asthma and other problems.”

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