DMCH team: Stepping up in the hour of need
When ward master Riaz Uddin received the first three patients injured in the Siddikbazar explosion around 5:00pm on Tuesday, he had no idea that he was going to see over 100 more.
Within about 10 minutes, the corridor of the emergency and casualty ward at Dhaka Medical College Hospital was almost filled with 20-25 seriously injured patients, according to Riaz.
"It left us at a loss for a while. I immediately informed the Rapid Response Team and the hospital director about the arriving patients. They reached the emergency ward in about five minutes," Riaz Uddin told The Daily Star yesterday.
With many of the injured unidentified, the ward master had to give his phone number for tickets to be issued to them.
The 60-member Rapid Response Team and other staffers at the emergency ward made heroic efforts on Tuesday to serve the injured.
The team, comprised of 25 doctors, 20 nurses, and 15 ward boys, is responsible for handling emergency situations in the event of any disaster.
After the explosion at a building in the capital's Siddikbazar, at least 120 injured were brought to the DMCH for treatment.
"The Rapid Response Team successfully managed the situation by providing primary treatment and moving them to the departments concerned for further care," DMCH Director Brig Gen Md Nazmul Haque told The Daily Star.
Nazmul as the head of the Rapid Response Team was also present at the emergency ward.
He said the team is connected via a WhatsApp group. It is alerted immediately after an emergency occurs, and the members respond as fast as possible.
Other physicians at the emergency ward also provided treatment to the injured, said Reaz Uddin.
"As a result, every patient received treatment on an urgent basis."
The ward master, who is himself a member of the Rapid Response Team, said the team has its own fund and stock of medical supplies, including medicines, blood, and equipment.
During an emergency, most of the injured brought to the hospital remain unidentified primarily and they don't have money either. The Rapid Response Team takes the responsibility of their treatment and pays for all necessary care, added Reaz Uddin.
The team transfers patients to other departments after providing primary care. For instance, if an injured needs ICU care, the patient would be sent to the ICU, and if another needs to undergo an operation, the patient would be moved to the OT, said hospital officials.
"There was no shortage of human resources or other logistics on Tuesday. We were instructed to use necessary resources as per our needs," the ward master said.
The Rapid Response Team has received a special training on handling patients during crisis situations and carrying out duties under time constraints. They also receive training once a month, and hold frequent meetings to discuss how to improve services.
At least 20 people were killed and more than 100 injured in Tuesday's explosion at a building in the capital's Siddikbazar.
About 150 doctors and staffers worked at the DMCH emergency ward, said Reaz Uddin.