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Vol. XXIX No. 15, November 16-30, 2019

Our Readers Write

Golden hour

Apropos of the article on failing infrastructure, it was sad reading in the newspapers, that the accident victim Subashree was lying on the road for a full 2 hours from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm, and that she was alive for 1 full hour before she was taken to a hospital nearby in an open van. Why was Emergency Ambulance 108 not called for, and why did the policeman squabble over jurisdiction instead of taking the victim to a hospital and saving her life in the Golden Hour? Will the traffic policeman have acted so callously if his daughter/son had been involved?
And why did the onlookers not rush her to Kamakshi Hospital just 200 metres away, during the Golden Hour? Sheer apathy by the general public.
Some 20 year back, late DGP K. Ravindran IPS, along with Rekha Shetty, Administrator of Apollo Hospitals, formed a group called ‘Helping Hands’ – of nearly 15 members – and we were part of ‘Save A Life’ Club. I was an E.C. Member and we had clear areas earmarked for us in the city, and our phone numbers were available through a pamphlet with the Traffic Police. We were given ID cards with phone numbers of the nearest hospitals. Our duty was to rush to the spot on getting a call about an accident, mark the place with chalk, and rush the victim to the nearest Hospital within the Golden Hour. My area was from Vivek Memorial to Pattinapakkam (as I was staying in Santhome then). I did save at least 12 lives in 1 ½ years and had the agony of seeing one David dying on my lap in an auto, when I was rushing from Gandhi Statue to National Hospital, Parrys. We used to meet every Wednesday at the basement of Apollo Hospital and share our experience of saving the accident victims. After the demise of Ravindran, the club died a slow death.
As medical records show, a life can be saved if he/she is rushed immediately to a nearby hospital within the Golden Hour (1 hour). I feel so sorry that the apathy of the onlookers took away the life of Subashree.
M. Fazal
No. 11, Mosque Street
Hastinapuram, Chennai 600 064

A note on the late K.S. Sanjivi

Karthik Bhatt’s article on Krishnaswami Swaminathan (KS), published in MM, 1-2 fortnights back, was excellent. When I was teaching in Loyola College Madras, the late Fr. Lawrence Sundaram (S.J.) and I have had several opportunities to discuss the nuances of English language. On many an occasion, Fr. Sundaram used to refer to the command of English language and literature of KS in a jubilant and highly appreciative tone.
In Karthik’s article a reference in passing on KS’s sibling, Krishnaswami Srinivasa Sanjivi (KSS), who pioneered primary health care in Madras, occurs. Shobha (Menon) has written on KSS in an issue of MM (2014). Distinguished nephrologist Muthu Krishna Mani wrote a note about him as well in The National Medical Journal of India, Volume 80, Issue 3.
KSS was a great teacher of medicine says Balasubramniam Ramamurthi (BR), famous neurosurgeon of Madras, in his autobiography ‘Uphill All the Way’. KSS was the principal architect of the VHS Hospital in Adyar. KSS upheld the medical legacy left by Ramakrishna Venkata Rajam, the first Indian Dean of the combined edifice of MMC and GH in 1950.
The Swaminathan–Sanjivi brothers had another sibling, Krishnaswami Venkataraman, who directed the National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR), Poona and who was equally brilliant. He spent his work life in Poona.
A. Raman
anant@raman.id.au

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