January 11, 2006, DNA

This 25-year-old left home on Tuesday, to keep his appointment with his dentist at the Nair Dental Hospital, Mumbai Central, little knowing that an hour later he would land up in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the nearby Nair Hospital.

At 3pm, the man suffered a massive cardiac arrest and fell on to the floor unconscious. He was rushed to the Nair Hospital, where he is currently fighting for life; doctors attending him say that the next 48 hours are extremely critical.

“We don’t know the reason behind the cardiac arrest as we have no case history. He showed no signs of illness, just collapsed without warning. No drug had been administered to him at the dental hospital,” said Dr Shubha Mohite of the cardiology department at Nair Hospital.

Meanwhile, the doctors are now struggling to establish the patient’s identity and how to contact his relatives. “It is a procedure we strictly follow in such cases,” says Dr MH Shah, deputy dean, Nair Hospital.

“The only identification is a driving licence that identifies him as Shamim Abdul Athar, and a mutilated railway pass valid between Bandra-Masjid on which the details are illegible,” said Shah. The Nagpada police are working on finding Shamim’s relatives. But crucial hours have already been lost, as police procedure is long and tedious.

This, pointed out Nupur Anchlia, volunteer, CUTS (Consumer Unity and Trust Society), is just another reason that goes to prove why it’s vital for people to carry information about themselves and their health at all times.

Most pocket diaries have forms that ask the user to fill in details about themselves including name, age, marital status, blood group, whether they are allergic to any drugs, medical history, emergency contact number and address of the people to be contacted. “But who bothers to fill it out?” asked Anchlia.

She suggested every person must carry details like election card, a PAN card, a driver’s licence, or Organ Donor card, or some residential address and telephone numbers and other relevant details for such emergencies.

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