Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Handi is Higher than your Handi

MUMBAI: The rush of injured Govindas, who form human pyramids to reenact what Lord Krishna used to do in his childhood, stunned doctors at public hospitals in Mumbai on Thursday. As many as 170 Govindas reached emergency rooms in civic hospitals. Worryingly, six of them got grave skull and spine injuries; two of them needing ventilator support.

Doctors said dangerously high 'handis' this year — some up to 50 feet — and requiring as many as nine tiers of Govinda pyramids, had contributed to the more-severe-than-usual cases this year. "With the prize money increasing every year, the height of the handi too has been increasing and people are taking bigger risks. We see the number of patients increasing too," said

Dr Sameer Rege, assistant professor of surgery in KEM Hospital, Parel.

One of the most critical patients is admitted to KEM Hospital's ICU. "A 30-year-old Kurla resident with skull injuries had to be put on ventilator support," said KEM Hospital dean Dr Sanjay Oak. "His condition is extremely critical," a doctor treating him added.

Another teenager with a head injury is on ventilator support at Sion Hospital. "The patient was brought to us in the evening, and our doctors suspect internal bleeding or paralysis," said Sion Hospital dean Dr Sandhya Kamat.

Andheri resident Abhijeet Patel (25) was rushed to Cooper Hospital with serious injuries. "He is paralysed waist-down after sustaining spine injuries," said medical superintendent Dr S Gawde.

In JJ Hospital, Byculla, 27-year-old Machhindra Kamble was scheduled for surgery.

Kamble, who has been suffering from polio since childhood, got injured as the people from higher levels of a pyramid, fell on his affected leg in Worli. "Someone from the third level fell on Kamble's leg, which broke from the joint. He will need a plate in the leg," said a doctor.

According to the BMC disaster management cell, of the 170 cases, 152 were minor.

Eighteen people, including six critical, were admitted to various hospitals.

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