Bengaluru: Recent official reports state that 10,856 deaths due to road accidents were reported in the state in 2015, but a survey conducted by UL, a global safety science leader, and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) puts the figure at 13,028.
City hospitals too reveal disturbing numbers. “Every month, we get around 250-275 patients with head injuries caused by road accidents," said Dr A.N. Venkatesh, Senior Consultant and HoD, Emergency Department, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru. He stressed on the importance of effective ‘Golden Hour’ treatment to reduce brain injury related deaths.
“We get 10-15 severe head injury cases a month and the numbers might be higher if we were located on the highway. But what is depressing is that the most vulnerable are from the most productive age group (18-45 years). These high numbers indicate that road safety measures taken by the government and their adherence by road users are abysmal," stressed Dr Sathish S., Senior Consultant, Neurosurgeon and Additional Director, Neurosurgery Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road. He said, “The severe state of coma, as in the 1-3 range of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), leads to near 70% mortality. Even if the patient survives, he/she is left with severe deficits.”
Dr N.K. Venkataramana, Founder and Chief Neurosurgeon, Brains Neuro Spine Centre said, “Studies prove that 60 percent of all head injury victims are in the ‘most-productive’ 18 to 40 age group, which translates to a staggering economic loss of up to 2 percent of our nominal GDP. Hence, adherence to simple safety practices like wearing helmets and seatbelts and not using mobile phones while driving could bring down casualty rates dramatically. Drunk driving is again something that can be easily reduced.”
Stressing on the importance of a helmet, Dr Sathish S. said, “If people wear good quality helmets with proper strapping then the mortality can be reduced by 80%. If 100 people land at the trauma centre with severe injuries, 80 of them can be saved."