KARUR: Karur is one of the busiest stations in the Salem railway division, but it lacks a medical centre even as several amenities were inaugurated recently. The lack of medical care nearly cost the life of a 50-year-old woman who suffered a heart attack inside the station had to be taken to the GH.
Seethalakshmi of Kulithalai was travelling on the Tiruchy-Erode passenger train (No. 56841) on Monday morning. As the train crossed Veerarakiyam railway station, she fainted. Fellow passengers pulled the emergency chain and stopped the train. She was then administered first-aid, after which the train departed.
Officials informed Karur railway station of the incident and asked them to arrange for medical assistance as soon as the train arrived at the station. But the station lacked medical facilities, and an 108 ambulance was called. As soon as the train arrived, she was taken to the GH.
Mahalingam, an activist, said “Though there is a 24x7 medical assistance booth at the entrance of the station, it is always closed. Had there been a doctor or even a nurse at the booth, they could have easily performed CPR and provided first-aid to the patient. Fortunately, the ambulance was quick to arrive at the station and the woman was taken to hospital in the nick of time.What if there was no ambulance available at that moment or some other passenger needed immediate medical attention? Railways management must look into these things first.”
A Railway official said, “The medical assistance booth is owned and operated by a private hospital. Usually staff comes at night to the booth. Most emergency cases appear to happen at night. We have brought the matter to the notice of the management.”
In a similar incident in April 2014, Rajalakshmi, a 60 year-old-woman, died at the station from a heart attack as there was no medical assistance available at the junction. People staged a protest condemning the Railway Board and demanded a medical assistance booth at the station.