BENGALURU: It was past 10.30pm, and like most of their co-passengers in Yeshwantpur-Bidar Express, Shashikala Bheemrao and Veena Vasanth, staff nurses at Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences (BRIMS), were getting ready to sleep. But little did they know that they would be conducting a delivery with no medical equipment or assistance in the moving train and save the lives of a mother and baby.
Both the nurses have done BSc in Nursing. While Shashikala has over 11 years experience, Veena has seven years. They were in Bengaluru on February 26 to write ESI exams.The two nurses boarded the train for Bidar on Thursday night. They were in S3 compartment and settling down for the night when they heard people in their next seat talking about a pregnant woman in the General compartment suffering from labour pain. The train that left Bengaluru at 7pm had already crossed Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh.
When the duo went to the General compartment, they saw Manamma (22), the pregnant woman, crying in pain and her husband Gundiah watching her helplessly. They are from Yadgir.“She seemed to be in full term, but she was not aware of it. There was no immediate medical assistance. When we did the test, we realised that the baby was about to come. We did not have much time to make any decision,’’ Shashikala said.
In no time the space between the toilet and the door of the train was converted into an operation theatre. A passengers gave their bedsheet to cordon off the area. Polythene covers were used as gloves. “There was a family travelling in the same compartment. We had seen them using a knife and borrowed it from them. We needed thread. Many people who travel from Bengaluru to Bidar get jasmine flowers as they are not available much in Bidar. They string the flowers to pass time. We took the thread from one such person. While Veena helped Manamma push the baby, I conducted the delivery. All this happened within 15 to 20 minutes. It’s a girl baby,’’ Shashikala said.
“This was Manamma’s first baby. Though she did not have any complication, we were a little scared. But we had no choice as any delay could have been risky for the mother and the baby. We have assisted in many deliveries before. But this was not the same as we had to do the delivery ourselves, that too in a train, without medical equipment, drugs or a doctor. We were relieved when the baby cried,’’ Veena told TNSE.
“We had called 108 ambulance which arrived at Dharmavaram station. Manamma and her baby were shifted to a government hospital. They are doing fine,’’ Veena said.Dr C S Ragate, Medical Superintendent , BRIMS, said, “It’s a proud moment for us. We are going to felicitate the two nurses.”