Sassoon looks for stretcher donors

After MiD DAY reported on an expectant mother’s ordeal on Monday because of the unavailability of a stretcher at Sassoon General Hospital, an official at the hospital said that appeals have been made for donation of stretchers and wheelchairs.

A patient is wheeled in on a stretcher at the Sassoon

D G Kulkarni, medical superintendent, Sassoon General Hospital, said that a request has also been made for more stretchers and wheelchairs, but nothing has materialised so far.

Ordeal at hospital
The issue came to the fore after a 20-year-old expectant mother Jaya Pawar went through a nightmare upon arriving at the hospital on Monday.
She was spotted by a police constable writhing in pain on a pavement near Samarth police station on Monday afternoon and the police control room was informed. A woman constable was dispatched from the police station to escort the woman to Sassoon.

According to woman’s husband Vikas Pawar, because of no assistance from hospital staff and non-availability of a stretcher, Jaya delivered her baby in the auto rickshaw on the hospital premises. The couple’s nightmare continued and the husband was unable to get help to cut his child’s umbilical cord. He had to make do with a blade and do it himself. When the woman was finally being taken to the maternity ward on the third floor, the elevator stalled between floors, leaving the occupants trapped for over 45 minutes.

When asked about the basic amenities, including number of stretchers and wheel chairs, Ajay Chandanwale, dean of Sassoon General Hospital, said, “To get this information, you have to write an application to the press committee of the hospital.”

The MiD DAY report yesterday on poor facilities at Sassoon giving a woman in labour a nightmarish experience

He added that Sassoon would be getting 100 stretchers and 50 wheelchairs within a month and a washing machine worth Rs 5 lakh was donated to the hospital last month. Posed with the same question, Kulkarni said, “I don’t have the exact number of stretchers available with the hospital, but there are considerably good numbers.

We are appealing to people to generously donate stretchers and wheelchairs to Sassoon Hospital. Someone donated 50 new wheelchairs to Sassoon General Hospital a few months ago, which has reduced some load.”

Minister takes note
Taking note of the issue after the news broke, Minister, Medical Education and Drug Department, DP Sawant, said he would look into this matter and also ensure that such incidents do not happen in future. 

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