Mumbai building collapse: Most died due to suffocation, say doctors

Sep 28, 2013, 06:53 IST | Nigel Buthello

Doctors at J J Hospital are working overtime to treat the injured; relatives of some are still searching for their loved ones

Mumbai building collapse: The aftermath

Following the building collapse, the state-run J J Hospital was full of anxious relatives, with medical staff rushing to attend to the patients who were being brought in after being rescued from the rubble. At the time of going to press, the collapse had claimed 13 lives, with another 28 injured.

A team of neurosurgeons, orthopaedic doctors and general surgeons attended to the patients undergoing treatment, after the hospital received a call from the disaster management cell at around 6 am yesterday.

While the first patient, 10-year-old Anish Kadam arrived at the state-run hospital at around 6 am on his own by a cab, several other patients were soon admitted to the hospital, according to Dr T P Lahane, the dean of J J Hospital.

“The cause of death for the 11 patients was mostly suffocation caused due to the rubble they were trapped under. Of these, five of the bodies are yet to be identified. Further investigations are on by the police to locate their relatives,” he said.

“Twenty-five patients were admitted to the hospital. Of these, only one patient, Mayur Dhulera (18) was treated on an OPD basis. He was then discharged as he had sustained a minor cut to his arm. Of the other patients, three are critical as of now, and are undergoing treatment in the ICU,” he added.

The casualty ward of the hospital was heavily manned by security guards throughout the day, who barred mediapersons and outsiders from entering. Forty-eight doctors were posted at the casualty ward to deal with the constant flow of patients, and two ventilators were kept in the emergency department to
provide treatment.

Dr Lahane further elaborated, “Most patients sustained blunt trauma injuries, and are now under observation in different wards. An unidentified woman’s body from the collapse site was sent to the civic-run Nair hospital for post mortem on Friday. Her age is estimated to be around 50-60 years.”

However, not all were lucky enough to find their relatives in the hospital.

Prashant Jadhav said, “My brother and his family, which includes his wife and three young children, were in the building at the time of the mishap. As soon as we heard about the incident, we rushed to J J Hospital, where we were told that the victims were being treated. However, when we enquired with the doctors and checked several wards, we found that they hadn’t been brought to the hospital, and are still missing. We can only hope they are still alive.”

Jadhav searched for his brother and his family the entire afternoon on Friday. When he left the hospital at 6.30 pm, they had still not been brought into the casualty ward.

Number of doctors posted at JJ Hospital’s casualty ward  

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