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Colour coded in Dhulikhel

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Samjhana Shrestha of Sindhupalchok is being treated at the Dhulikhel hospital for back injury. Pics: Bhrikuti Rai


Outside the Dhulikhel Hospital gate in Kavre, Samjhana Shrestha lies on a stretcher as the doctor pastes a piece of paper on her right arm with her name, address and marks her ‘orange’. She is then immediately whisked to the emergency room while the other patients marked ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ wait for their turn. The tenth grader from the neighbouring district of Sindhupalchok was brought here on Wednesday to treat injuries she sustained on her head and back after the massive earthquake on Saturday.

“The colour coding helps us identify which victims need the most immediate treatment and function more efficiently,” says Deepak Dahal, administration chief at Dhulikhel Hospital. The limited resources at district hospitals and its proximity to three major highways has made this 300 bed community hospital the default post earthquake care centre for the most badly hit districts like Sindhupalchok, Ramechhap and Dolakha, Sindhuli and even Bhaktapur.

The Dhulikhel hospital has received more than 1,000 patients and conducted close to 100 major operations since Saturday.

The Dhulikhel hospital has received more than 1,000 patients and conducted close to 100 major operations since Saturday.

Since Saturday the hospital has received more than 1,000 patients and conducted close to 100 major operations.

“Luckily the hospital wasn’t damaged and we have been able to provide all the essential services from day one despite the three-day power cut,” says physician Rajiv Shrestha.

During the power cuts in the first three days following the earthquake, the hospital was running on solar and diesel powered generators. But with patients overflowing in emergency and post operation units even this efficient community hospital is worried about failing to provide quality service to hundreds of earthquake victims.

Big hospitals like the 750 bed Nepal Medical College in Kathmandu is turning away patients since it
doesn’t have enough tents to treat patients outside its cracked building.

“At Dhulikhel we have enough doctors and paramedics but we are running out of stock of essential medicines, surgical materials, and need to add beds and blankets required for so many patients,” adds Shrestha. Volunteer school children in Kathmandu are providing thousands of gauzes for the Dhulikhel Hosptial.

Sabina Lama, 11, who suffered severe head injuries was operated on at the Dhulikhel hospital.

Sabina Lama, 11, complains to her mother Phulmaya about the stitches hurting her head. She was buried under a pile of rubble after the earthquake brought down their house in Helambu. “My daughter luckily survived despite serious head injuries, we know the healing will take time and now I can only hope that she gets the much needed care and medicine in the weeks and months ahead,” says Phulmaya Lama with her youngest son still sleeping on her lap.




Sindhupalchok’s sorrow

Jure’s second disaster

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