Andher Nagari : Uttar Pradesh

Third-rate treatment for First Citizen

Inexperienced Docs, Donors Instead Of Two Units Of Blood,

Rickety Ambulance Part Of Convoy

          Allahabad: Thank goodness President APJ Abdul Kalam came back hale and hearty from a trip to Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh this week. Had he taken unwell, a catastrophe might have happened.
          For one, doctors deputed to accompany the presidential entourage didn’t turn up from Allahabad and last minute arrangements had to be made by calling in relatively inexperienced doctors from the Pratapgarh district hospital and the Allahabad High Court dispensary to meet emergency protocol requirements, according to the additional director of health, Allahabad, Dr G C Srivastava.

        Sources who saw medical attendants travelling with the country’s first citizen on May 2 said it was a miracle that the rickety ambulance in the convoy to Raniganj didn’t break down.

        What’s most alarming is that as per rules, the medical team is supposed to carry two units of A-positive blood, in case of an emergency. Failing to arrange for two bottles of blood, the local administration did the next best thing — they sent five Provincial Armed Constabulary recruits with the presidential blood group to accompany the entourage. Of course, the rulebook doesn’t permit any transfusion on the ground. According to Srivastava, who had written to the principal of the Motilal Nehru Medical College in Allahabad to make medical arrangements, the situation was so bad that a plastic surgeon was sent in place of a pathologist and a technician in place of a cardiologist.

        The beat-up ambulance did not even have a ventilator and other equipment mandatory for VVIP visits. When an officer in the President’s entourage raised objections, the Pratapgarh CMO hurriedly changed the ambulance and arranged for a big van with some emergency equipment.

       Dr Srivastava agreed things had gone horribly wrong during the President’s visit to inaugurate an NGO project, but he said that according to his information, there was the requisite two units of A-positive blood with the medical attendants.

       P C Saxena, the medical college principal tasked with making emergency arrangements, when quizzed about the condition of the ambulance he had sent, told TOI, ‘‘We can provide whatever we have.’’ He defended sending a technician in place of a cardiologist, saying he was the sole cardiologist in the college.

Vijay Pratap Singh | TNN

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