Trauma-related deaths can be prevented by timely action

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India No Comments

Need for more trauma centres across cities that are up-to-date and organized

New Delhi, 17 October 2017:In India, one person dies of a road accident every minute, indicate statistics. Road accidents account for about 1,50,000 deaths every year. Injuries and the resultant trauma rank fourth in the causes of death across all age groups children, adolescents, and young adults. These are also reasons for more premature deaths than cancer, heart disease or other such diseases.[1]On World Trauma Day, there is a need to raise awareness on the fact that majority of these trauma-related deaths can be prevented through timey action and medical care.

Many deaths occur either within minutes of the injury, at the scene of accident or injury, before the victim is taken to the medical facility, or immediately upon arrival at the hospital. Some of the reasons for death include massive hemorrhage or severe neurological injury.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “There is still a long way to go in terms of immediate trauma care in India. There are many issues in offering critical care to injury victims. India lacks significant pre-hospital care in most cities with the golden hour concept still an ambiguity for many. This is further exacerbated by poor ambulances services and the lack of a centralized agency to monitor them. Hospitals need to ensure availability of casualty medical officers who can do more than just resuscitation. Add to this the fact that there are no dedicated trauma surgeons in India, which often causes delays in clinical decision making. This is because various aspects are handled by various departments and not a single entity. Last but not the least, there is no central trauma registry in any institute.”

In a survey, it was found that the risk of deaths in injured people can be reduced by about 25% if a trauma victim is treated at a dedicated trauma centre.[2]Trauma centres are classified into four levels based on the available resources and the number of patients admitted.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “There is a need to have dedicated trauma centres in cities throughout the country that can provide the best emergency services and have up-to-date trauma systems. This means that such a hospital should have high-quality intensive care ward and an operating theatre, learned and dedicated personnel, and updated and latest equipment. Apart from this, it is imperative to make efforts to prevent injury or reduce the severity of injuries, as this will help in preventing many cases of immediate death.”

Prevention is always better than cure. Trauma can be prevented by staying alert at an individual level.

Some do’s and don’ts to consider with regard to accidents and injuries are as follows.

Follow the road safety rules and be aware of warning signs and traffic signals.
Do not forget to wear a helmet and take a break if you are driving for a long distance.
Do not use the mobile phone while driving or listen to loud music.
Keep a first-aid kit ready at home and in your vehicle.
Do not drive if you are sleepy, tired, or have had drinks.
If you notice a person with head or spinal injury, move the person from the site only with professional help to avoid serious back or neck injuries.
Do not give fluids to any unconscious or semi-conscious traumatized person.
Learn basic life support techniques and help the injured.

IMA stands in solidarity with junior doctors on strike in Poland

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India No Comments

New Delhi 16 October2017: Junior doctors in Poland are on hunger strike protesting the poor pay and conditions including poor healthcare funding. Supporting their protest, the World Medical Association (WMA) delegates passed an emergency resolution on October 13, 2017 expressing serious concern about the dispute at the annual assembly of the Association in Chicago. The resolution also urged the Prime Minister of Poland to intervene and negotiate an acceptable solution and further said, ‘It is essential that a resolution is found before these physicians suffer irreversible harm, or die, as they seek to improve working conditions for their colleagues and a better financial basis for health care provision for the population’.

According to the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists, they made several appeals, unsuccessfully, to the Government to take action on all the above issues; hence, the hunger strike. The current level of expenditure did not cover the justified needs of the population and was insufficient to ensure proper working conditions for health care professionals.

Commenting on this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “As part of WMA, the IMA supports the Junior doctors in Poland. Our demands are also similar. Health care spending in India too needs attention as India continues to be among the countries with the lowest relative public expenditure on healthcare. This is very evident from the Union budget for the year 2017-18, which has allocated only 1.3% of the GDP for healthcare. The National Health Policy 2017 has proposed increasing public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP. But this is just not enough. Every citizen of this country has a right to receive affordable or free preventive and emergency health care and the best of treatment. The health budget should be 5% of the GDP for universal health coverage. No to adhocism, pay parity and uniform service conditions for service doctors all across India is another of our major demand. ”

Indian Medical Association (IMA) is the only representative, national voluntary organization of doctors of modern scientific system of medicine, which looks after the interest of doctors as well as the well-being of the community at large. IMA represents the collective consciousness of over 3 lakh doctors of modern medicine, spread across 1,700 local branches and 31 State and Territorial branches.

Adding further Dr KK Aggarwal said, “In addition to these, there are several important issues and concerns of doctors that need to be addressed urgently. Criminal prosecution of doctors, increasing violence against doctors, uncapped compensation in negligence cases, unrealistic laws like CEA and PCPNDT, to name a few. Doctors are feeling insecure and live in fear of criminal prosecution or violence. IMA has been fighting for a solution to these problems and had organized the “Dilli Chalo” movement on 6th June this year followed by a Dawn to Dusk fast on 2nd October to bring to the attention of the nation the many problems faced by the doctors today. We had also published an open letter to the Prime Minister prior to the fast seeking his immediate intervention in resolving these issues to better protect the health of the public, which we still await. We also hope that the WMA also passes a resolution supporting our demands.”

India still lags behind in child nutrition with a child-wasting prevalence of 21%

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India No Comments

A healthy diet including all food groups is key to preventing this condition

New Delhi, 15 October 2017: Twenty-one percent of children under 5 years of age in India suffer from wasting, according to a report. India has not seen any significant strides in checking the prevalence of this indicator since the last 25 years. Djibouti, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan are the only remaining countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2017 with a child-wasting prevalence over 20%. Child wasting is one of the four indicators in the GHI.

Statistics indicate that the prevalence of child wasting in India has increased from 17.1% in 1998-2002 to 21% in 2012-16. This is way above the global prevalence. Wasting or thinness in a child is the result of acute and inadequate nutrition along with frequent infections leading to rapid weight loss or failure to gain weight normally.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Wasting is also called as acute malnutrition and as low weight-for-height. A healthy child is normally expected to gain 2 to 3 kg of body weight every year. Wasting occurs when the weight-for-height measurement in a child is less than two standard deviations from the globally accepted reference cut-off point. Severe wasting happens when a child’s weight-for-height measurement is less than three standard deviations from the globally accepted norm. Wasting and stunting are often two separate forms of malnutrition requiring different interventions for prevention and/or treatment. However, they are closely related and often occur together in the same populations and often in the same children.”

Some signs and symptoms of malnutrition include loss of fat, breathing difficulties, abnormally low body temperature, weakened immunity, higher susceptibility to feeling cold, longer healing time for wounds, reduced muscle mass, tiredness and fatigue, and irritability.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Children with severe malnutrition experience slow behavioral and intellectual development, leading to intellectual disabilities later in life. Even when they are treated, under nutrition can have long-term effects in children including impairments in mental function and digestive problems, which can last for their whole life.”

Prevention of malnutrition entails eating a healthy balanced diet. There are four major food groups that should form a part of a child’s diet plan. These include:
• Bread, rice, potatoes, and other starchy foods. This forms the largest portion of the diet and provides calories for energy and carbohydrates that are converted to sugars which provide energy.
• Milk and dairy foods – Vital sources of fats and simple sugars like lactose as well as minerals like Calcium
• Fruit and vegetables – Vital sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and roughage for better digestive health
• Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein – These form the building blocks of the body and help in numerous body and enzyme functions.
• Other factors to be considered include adequate nutrition of the mother during pregnancy and promoting the practice of exclusive breastfeeding.

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