Watch your step while at any suburban railway station. In case you get injured or fall sick there, the stations are ill equipped to give you any medical aid.

According to the stationmaster at Kurla, 3-4 accidents a day are the norm. Yet, staff can only use 11 items from the first-aid kit. File pic
According to the stationmaster at Kurla, 3-4 accidents a day are the norm. Yet, staff can only use 11 items from the first-aid kit. File pic

An inspection conducted by mid-day has revealed that railway stations on Western, Central Main and Harbour lines are shockingly under-prepared to deal with medical emergencies, despite having the medical equipment to do so. Staffers at stations do not know how to operate a majority of the medical apparatus.

The High Court had, in 1999, directed railway stations to stock 70 items for emergency medical assistance, 28 of which comprise a basic medical first-aid kit. Station staffers, however, can boast of knowing how to use 11 of these first-aid items.

Railway staffers confirmed they have received no training in handling the remaining 59 items and they have no choice but to wait for doctors of the Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS), known as the ‘108’ ambulances which are supposed to be stationed outside railway stations.

The first-aid kit is divided into two types, according to the kinds of cases encountered – medical (fever, dizziness, abdominal pain, chest pain, etc) and trauma (falls from heights, train accidents, labour pain, food poisoning, etc). The basic first-aid kit contains 28 items like aluminium stretchers, bandages, dressing tapes, creams, antiseptics and others (see box).

mid-day checked the preparedness of emergency medical services and first-aid boxes at Dahisar and Kandivli on the Western line, Sion and Kurla on the Central line, and Sewri and Dockyard Road on the Harbour line. The results were very worrying.