Issued by JJ Hospital, these cards will let them pass through metal detectors unharassed
MUMBAI ~ For those who survive a bomb blast, the aftermath can be terrible. One torment is living with metal shrapnel inside their bodies. This, in turn, leads to other unexpected difficulties. Metal detectors in public places like airports or malls beep when they pass through the security frame, and the questioning that follows can be both humiliating and traumatic.
Following the 13 July bomb blasts in Mumbai, the state-run Sir J J Group of Hospitals has decided to issue identity cards for victims with shrapnel lodged permanently in their bodies.
JJ Hospital Dean Dr TP Lahane says, “The ID cards will mention the area where the metal piece is lodged, in addition to the name of the patient. The card will also bear the signatures of the patient and dean, and an indelible stamp of the hospital. It can be used anywhere in India.” But he adds that such an ID card will not exempt the bearer from going through mandatory security checks, including walking through metal detectors.
Many of those injured in the recent blasts have shrapnel injuries because the bombs were packed with iron splinters. Doctors who have treated such cases say that some shrapnel is often left in the body after the surgery because the pieces are either too tiny or lodged in high-risk areas. The body eventually covers the metal pieces with tissue as a natural health recovery measure.
After the 26/11 terror attacks, the Maharashtra government had asked JJ Hospital to issue certificates to 12 patients who had metal particles lodged in them.
However, despite the certificates, some of the victims had to face questioning every time metal detectors beeped. Other private hospitals that have handled bomb blast victims have also been instructed by the state government to issue such certificates.