Railways reinforces medical facilities on trains and stations

As many as 88 life saving equipment, medicines and injections will now be available on all trains and stations, replacing the basic first aid box that is usually found on railway premises, a senior official said recently. These include delivery kits, oxygen cylinders, laryngoscopes, catheters, syringes, tablets, splints, bandages of all shapes and sizes, ointments and even oxygen defibrillators, the official said.

“The Supreme Court had formed a committee of AIIMS to examine the issue of providing emergency care to passengers on board trains and in their report, they have listed the equipment that we had to provide. We have complied with that and started providing the same to the passengers,” the railway official said.

He said that except the oxygen defibrillator which costs Rs 3-4 lakhs, all other medical supplies were being provided by the national transporter in a phased manner. The panel was formed after the apex court issued directions on a public interest litigation filed after a newspaper reported that a railway officer died of cardiac arrest on a Jaipur-Kota train. The new medical box was being provided on trains in a phased manner since April, the official said.

The Railways will also provide folding stretchers at all stations and seek the help of doctors travelling on the train or available at the nearest station for emergency care whenever needed. The national transporter currently provides a first aid box containing life-saving drugs on long-distance trains and ensures that with the help of the doctor on board, proper medical care is provided to ailing passengers. Further, augmented first aid boxes are provided on selected long-distance trains as well.

Total 162 trains had been identified and were provided with such boxes. These augmented first aid boxes contain 58 different types of medicines/first aid materials. Other than this, railway hospitals across its network are called to attend to passengers falling ill during a journey. In case of emergencies, station masters/managers are empowered to summon the railway medical officer “on call” to attend to passengers. All TTEs, guards and station masters are trained in basic medical care, the official said.

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