Asmita’s husband Luv katkar at the hospital. Image credits: Indian Express.
Asmita katkar’s day started as usual on that day too. She dropped her son to school and set off to her job. Little did she know that within minutes her life is going to play a trick on her. It was a tragic day for both Mumbai and Asmita. Asmita was employed as a domestic help who earned her living by washing dishes. She was on her way to the workplace. Suddenly the Gokhale bridge in Andheri through which she was traveling collapsed. She fell down from 16 ft and was trapped under the wreckage of the bridge.
When she was pulled out from the wreckage of collapsed bridge, she had a crushed face, intracranial bleed, a drooping left hand and several other minor injuries. When taken to the government hospital at 9.29 am two hours after the collapse, she was unresponsive. A team of over 15 doctors at the municipal Dr. RN Cooper hospital conducted multiple surgeries over a span of 14 hours, not only salvaging her left hand but also stabilizing her medical parameters by Wednesday.
It was at 8 am on Tuesday that all the doctors of Municipal Dr. RN Cooper hospital get a message hinting to expect mass casualties. As expected, all five injured were admitted to the hospital before 9.30 am. However while the four others were stabilized, Asmita’s condition was a little worse than them. She had a broken jaw and a damaged airway. Her left hand was hanging down from the elbow. It was impossible to insert an air tube orally since her jaw was damaged severely. While Dr. Vinod Gite, assistant professor in ENT along with Dr. Mhashal conducted the tracheostomy to clear the airway obstruction, a team of eight doctors from anesthesia department inserted a central line to stabilize. while her first CT scan reports came, her neurological status did not seem critical. So, their primary aim shifted on correcting her hand and reconstructing her face. It took the doctors 6 hours for completing the corrective surgery of her hands.
The neurosurgery, plastic surgery, ENT, anesthesia, orthopedics, and general surgery departments operated on her from 12.30 pm Tuesday till 3 am Wednesday. By the evening, the orthopedics team realigned the bone in the hand and blood had started flowing again. But the doctors who treated her say that they need time to check whether the nerve sensations will return.
“The blood loss was huge. It was important to balance her vitals amidst all surgeries,” says Dr. Harpreet Kaur, Associate professor of anesthesia. By 9.30 pm doctors began doing decompression surgery on the brain where they’ve removed the damaged portion of skull bone.
The neurosurgery, plastic surgery, ENT, anesthesia, orthopedics, and general surgery departments operated on her from 12.30 pm Tuesday till 3 am Wednesday. But the next 48 hours are crucial for the patient, according to the doctors. If her hand starts turning black, it may indicate the need for amputation. If she survives that 48 hours, she has a chance of normal recovery.
“There will be deficits, but we are trying to bring her as close to her previous self as possible,” said plastic surgeon Ghag.
The doctors are hoping for the best, so does her family!