Pilgrims were part of a group of 30 from Tashigang in Bhutan who had visited the holy Bangajang Gompa in Arunachal Pradesh on Nov 9; showed symptoms of acute mountain sickness
Tawang: Timely medical aid by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel saved the lives of at least five of a team of 30 pilgrims from Tashigang district of Bhutan who had visited the holy Bangajang Gompa near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on November 9.
The five devotees complained of acute mountain sickness (AMS) around 9 pm and were transported to the SSB border outpost (BOP) at Bangajang, about 1 km from the monastery. This was done because there is no village or government establishment within a 20-km radius of the monastery apart from the SSB posts at Bangajang and Negortang.
The condition of the patients was deteriorating fast and the possibility of developing more serious conditions such as high-altitude cerebral edema or high-altitude pulmonary edema seemed imminent, both of which usually results in quick death due to low oxygen in the body for survival and water in the brain and lungs.
Sensing the gravity of the situation, post commander BN Kachari admitted the patients to the BOP medical inspection room and followed standard procedure for the treatment of AMS with the assistance of the post's medic.
Around 10 pm, more pilgrims started suffering from AMS and they too were provided medical care at the outpost. The patients remained admitted for the night and were discharged in the morning.
"The outpost SSB personnel took great care of the patients, among whom three were medical officers from the land of the thunder dragon, and provided tea, snacks, food and warm sleeping bags on compassionate grounds. The pilgrims expressed extreme gratitude for the timely life-saving service by the 38 SSB Tawang,” said Rajesh Thakur, Commandant of SSB Tawang.