Equip sports grounds with medical facilities

The cricket world is abuzz with the news of cricketer Phillip Hughes, who has undergone surgery and remains in critical condition after suffering a sickening blow to the head during the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and South Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Hughes was taken by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney after the incident. Hospital spokesman David Faktor had addressed the media and said Hughes was in surgery, having arrived at the hospital on life support.

There was immediate medical attention for the batsman who was felled by a bouncer on his helmeted head. Three ambulances and a medivac helicopter attended to Hughes. Though the player was helmeted, the ball still struck the side of his head hard enough to draw blood. There was medical assistance on the field and finally, there was a motorised stretcher.

It is important that there are medical facilities of some nature, at all sports fields and grounds in Mumbai. While access to such hi-tech help may be very far away, at least one ambulance on call is a necessity. Many grounds shockingly, do not even have a first-aid box, so medical help is a joke. We see so many cricket matches on at different grounds in the city. These are being played at school or college level. One has to be prepared for any injury of this kind. This incident showed us that Hughes has been grievously injured even though he was wearing a helmet. Many players at lower levels of cricket, do not wear helmets. Close-in fielders especially do not wear helmets on our grounds.

Last year, former India cricketer Sanjay Bangar’s son suffered a serious shoulder injury at a cricket tournament. Bangar had to rush to the venue and take his son to a private hospital.

It is time sports tourneys are not allowed to take off, if minimal medical help is unavailable. Basic medical assistance at the venue can be a time saver. And a time saver can be life saver.

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