Curious Onlookers Add to the Trauma

DUBAI — While doctors at the Rashid Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Centre battle to save lives inside, guards at the entrance are waging a battle of their own – keeping the curious at bay.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Thu 9 Apr 2009, 1:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:13 AM

Hordes of people, along with their children, turn up almost every day at the region’s busiest trauma centre just to witness the day’s proceedings. “This is a phenomenon ‘unique’ to this region,” said Jane Griffith, Associate Professor and Director of Nursing at Rashid Hospital.

“The moment word of a disaster spreads in Dubai, we have to brace for a rush of sightseers along with the victims,” she said while outlining the shortcomings of the Dubai Disaster Management Plan.

She was speaking at the three-day International Emergency and Catastrophe Management Conference and Exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“Just last month during a major traffic accident, up to 150 people turned up at the centre along with their children just to see what was going on,” she said.

“This number was more than the victims,” she added. “Even beefing up the security has failed because the guards cannot stop all people from entering the emergency department.”

The centre has also tried implementing a colour coding system for necessary medical staff. “We are also trying other ways to prevent intruders,” she said.

The Dubai disaster management plan has been activated eight times in the three years since its formation. “This has been during multi-vehicular accidents, industrial accidents, building collapses and internal utility failures,” said Griffith.

More patients and less bed space, confused staff and lack of communication were among the other shortcomings of the plan.

The 500-bed facility receives approximately 150,000 cases annually and operates on up to 14 patients per day.

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