Saturday 24 March 2018

Alert over medical services at Bahrain airport

MANAMA, September 28, 2014

Emergency medical services at Bahrain International Airport (BIA) could be dangerously overstretched, said an airport official, adding that there is only one doctor and one nurse to cover the entire airport at any one time.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the airport official told the Gulf Daily News (GDN),our sister publication, that this often leaves other staff - who lack any proper first aid training - to deal with emergencies as and when they arise.

The situation was exposed on Monday when a new arrival to Bahrain, Indian national Rajeshwar Darshanam, had an epileptic fit while waiting for immigration clearance.

It took almost 10 minutes for a medic to reach Darshanam, who was having a seizure on the floor and repeatedly banging his head against a steel barrier.

His fellow passengers, deprived of any help from BIA staff, tried in vain to revive him by splashing water on his face - not knowing that this was the incorrect procedure to follow when dealing with someone who is suffering from an epileptic fit.

Once a medic did eventually arrive, she confirmed the cause of the attack and put Darshanam in a wheelchair to transport him to the airport clinic.

"This is often the case - the doctor is never seen attending to an emergency himself," said the anonymous official.

"They are all egotistic and refuse to come to the spot to attend to cases, even when called. Moreover, the only clinic in the airport is located in the departure lounge at gate 12B, which is very far from the arrival area."

Meanwhile, the nurse at the airport clinic who attended to  Darshanam said that he was discharged within the hour. "The patient was suffering from epilepsy and he was given the necessary treatment at the clinic," she told the GDN, pointing out that the clinic had been alerted at 8.50am.

The nurse, who did not want to be named, confirmed that there was only one clinic in the BIA - which had to be locked up when the medics were attending to cases, wasting yet more valuable time.

"Usually we have to call the police as we have to lock up the clinic before we go to attend such cases," she said.

"There is only one doctor and one nurse during each eight-hour shift and when this case was alerted, the doctor was attending to another patient in the clinic and he directed me to go."

A BIA spokesman told the GDN that the airport's clinic came under the Health Ministry.

"All concerns related to the need for more emergency services or staff and first aid facilities have to be addressed to the Health Ministry," he said. No one from the ministry was available for comment when contacted by the GDN. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain airport | doctor | medical services |

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