Easter Explosions Death Toll Rises to 321: Of More Than 500 Injured 211 Are Yet Hospitalised With 37 Getting ICU Treatment; 22 Foreigners Injured and 45 Dead But only 31 Identified: Bodies of 35 Locals and 14 Foreigners Still Unidentified.


Nadira Gunatilleke

The death toll after the series of suicide bomb explosions that took place in eight places including three churches and three leading hotels on Easter Sunday, reached 321 by yesterday. Over 500 people were also injured. As of noon yesterday, 211 were receiving treatment at five state hospitals and 85 percent of the bodies had been handed over to the families.

According to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) sources, the total number of admissions to the NHSL from Sunday morning (21) to Monday (23) morning, was 267, of which 111 are still receiving treatment at the hospital. A total of 25 are still in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and the total number of deaths at the hospital was 53.

According to the Negombo Hospital sources, a total of 91 patients were admitted to the hospital and 20 are still receiving medical treatment. There were 104 deaths reported at the hospital.

According to the Health Ministry sources, a total of 211 patients are still receiving treatment at the NHSL, Colombo North(11) and Colombo South(2) Teaching Hospitals, Negombo Hospital(30), and the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital(57). Thirty-seven patients are still receiving treatment at ICUs in these hospitals. A total of 102 bodies were received by the Negombo Hospital and only one body is still there, while a total of 147 bodies were at the NHSL and 69 bodies are still there. Some are of foreigners. A total of 29 bodies were at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital and those were handed over to the families.

A total of 20 bodies of foreigners are at the NHSL and another 22 foreigners left the NHSL after receiving treatment. The total number of foreigners who died in the blasts is 45 and the bodies of 31 have been identified. The bodies of 14 more foreigners are to be identified, the sources said.

According to Health Services Director-General Dr. Anil Jasinghe, no one has turned up so far to identify 35 bodies at the NHSL. There are six unidentified bodies at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital. Unidentified bodies are one of the main issues that exist at the moment.

Two magistrates and six consultant judicial medical officers conducted postmortems on the bodies brought to the Negombo Hospital. Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne provided two mobile mortuaries to the Negombo Hospital to increase the storage facilities for bodies. One body was later transferred to the NHSL.

The Health Minister, and National Blood Centre Consultant Director Dr. Vijith Gunasekara, said that the National Blood Transfusion Service has received adequate blood stocks from the public and another public announcement will be made when blood is required again.

As a response to the public announcement made by the health service, people immediately came forward to donate blood. The required blood stocks have been provided to the NHSL, Colombo North and South Teaching Hospitals, Negombo Hospital and other hospitals.

Under the instructions of the Health Minister, Health Services Director-General Dr. Anil Jasinghe took all possible steps to ensure that all required human resources, blood, drugs and medical equipment are provided to all relevant state hospitals, especially the NHSL, teaching hospitals of Colombo North and South, Negombo Hospital and Batticaloa Hospital, the Health Ministry sources said.

The sources said that no shortage of blood, drugs or human resources occurred during the process of offering medical treatment to the victims of all blasts; services were not interrupted at any point in time. Ambulances were sent to all the required places without any delay to transport victims to hospitals. Minister Dr. Senaratne thanked all health staffers who worked hard to save the lives of the victims.

The eight blasts, some of which were identified as suicide bomb attacks intended to cause maximum casualties, took place in eight different locations on April 21.

Three churches and three city hotels were targetted. In addition, there were two more explosions at a guest house near the Dehiwala Zoological Garden and in a residential area in Dematagoda.

Golden hour

The golden hour, also known as golden time, refers to the period of time following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical and surgical treatment will prevent death. While initially defined as an hour, the exact time period depends on the nature of the injury and can be more or less than this duration. It is well established that the person’s chances of survival are greatest if he or she receives care within a short period of time after a severe injury.

Cases of severe trauma, especially internal bleeding, require surgical intervention. Complications such as shock may occur if the person is not managed appropriately and expeditiously. It, therefore, becomes a priority to transport people with severe trauma as fast as possible to a hospital trauma centre.

Because some injuries can cause people to deteriorate extremely rapidly, the time between injury and treatment should ideally be kept to a minimum; this has come to be specified as no more than 60 minutes, after which time the survival rate for people who have sustained trauma is alleged to fall off dramatically.

It is recommended that the patient obtains emergency medical services in less than 10 minutes at the location of the trauma, before being transported to a hospital.

Courtesy:Daily News