A team of 30 pilgrims from Tashigang district of Bhutan were on a pilgrimage visit to Bangajung Gompa on 9th November. The Gompa is approximately 1 kilometres away from the Border Outpost(BOP) of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Bangajung.
There is no village or government establishment in the 20 kilometres radius of the area, except SSB posts of Bangajung and Negortang.
At around 9 PM 5 of them suffered from Acute Mountain Sickness.
Their condition was worsening by the minute and could have developed into more serious conditions like High Altitude Cerebral Edema(HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), both of which usually results in quick death due to low oxygen in body for survival and water in brain and lungs.
Among the 30 pilgrims 3 were Medical Officers of Bhutan.
The suffering pilgrims were brought to SSB BOP Bangajung. At that time ASI/GD BN Kachari was commanding the post. Taking the gravity of the situation and the SOP/ Directions of Battalion HQ into account, he admitted the patients into the BOP Medical Inspection (MI) Room.
With the help of the Post Medic the post personal followed standard procedure for treatment of AMS as given below ;
- Rest, 2. Lots of liquid, 3. Diamox tablet and 4. Oxygen
Later at around 10 pm in the night, more pilgrims started suffering from AMS and they too were provided medical care in the Post’s MI Room.
The BOP personal took great care of the patients, on compassionate grounds, tea snacks, food and warm sleeping bags etc were provided.
The patients remained admitted for the night and were discharged in the morning. They expressed extreme gratitude for the help rendered by 38 SSB Tawang personal and partook after hearty breakfast.