Page 1




1, issue 5,15 June’12 pages 4

THE AMBULANCE TIMES ~Touching ever yone associated with Emergency Medical Ser vices~ Registered Newspaper - RNI No. DELENG/2012/41958

N E W S WAT C H Duma Speaker Accused of Blocking Ambulance Traffic police in the northern Leningrad region stopped an ambulance to clear the way for the convoy of the current speaker of the Russian State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday. Pg3

Patient dies in 6-hr wait for ambulance A 25-year-old man, suffering from meningitis, died in a private hospital on Wednesday while his family tried for over six hours to get a ventilatorequipped ambulance which could shift him to another hospital.Pg 2

Don’t airlift to India

After the UCPN-Maoist PLA Commander Nanda Kishor Pun expressed his unwillingness on Saturday morning to leave for India, for medical treatment, his medical procedures will resume in Kathmandu. The former Maoist insurgent Pun, undergoing treatment at Medical College in Jorpati . Pg 3

HC issues notices on patient’s death The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notices to Delhi government and two private hospitals over the death of a patient who waited for hours for an ambulance to shift him to a superspeciality centre. Deccan Herald and another newspaper on Friday published a report on the patient from the economically weaker section (EWS) who died after waiting at least six hours at the Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital, Rohini for an ambulance fitted with a ventilator to shift him to Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh. Heading a division bench, Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri issued notices to both hospitals and the city government. The notices were issued following a plea – based on newspaper reports

– by advocate Ashok Agarwal, who is a member of the governmentappointed monitoring committee on free treatment facilities in Delhi’s private hospitals. Vikram, 25, suffered from TB meningitis and multiple tuberculoma. The distance between the hospitals is two kilometres. But for six hours, none of the hospitals took the responsibility of providing a ventilator-equipped ambulance for him. And CATS (Centralised Accident and Trauma Services) helpline initially refused to send an ambulance, saying all drivers had left by 4 pm. Finally, a CATS ambulance arrived at 7 pm without a working ventilator and the patient died by 7:45 pm. The next hearing in the case is on July 11. The bench ordered that if the

government conducts a probe into the case, the progress report should be submitted before it on July 11. Meanwhile, the family of the victim has filed a case of criminal negligence with Prashant Vihar police station. “Vikram was taken to B R Ambedkar Government Hospital. The doctors asked him to go to Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital. Despite production of a below poverty line card, he was not referred to a private hospital by the government hospital. He was a victim of more than one irregularity,” said advocate Khagesh Jha, a member of Social Jurist organisation, who is following the case. CATS bought 30 ambulances, fitted with latest technology, during Commonwealth Games, 2010. But not even one has a working ventilator now.

average of 10km/liter on diesel.. At present, there are 612 PCR vans — 162 Taveras, 178 Qualis and 263 Maruti Gypsies — which are either stationed or keep moving around at all the key posts across the city. Apart from that, there are nine PCR ambulances. Earlier, the Delhi Police

had planned to impart more color to the existing fleet in order to make it more visible. However, the Delhi Police have suggested few modifications so that some space can be created for a stretcher, whenever needed.

950 ambulances to respond to crisis calls on state highways State highways will soon have 950 ambulances to ensure every emergency call can be responded to within 20 minutes. The vehicles will be delivered in three batches, with the first batch arriving in the next two months. Taking note of the number of accidents on the state’s highways, the government. In September 2011 invited bids for ambulance services. However, only two bidders showed interest. Subsequently, a fresh call for bids was made in December last year. “The response from bidders has been good. Once the scrutiny of bids has been done, the government will go for the ambulances,” said Dilip Bhujbal, superintendent of police (highways). Each ambulance will be kitted with emergency equipment, and will have medical staff trained in trauma care. These vehicles will respond to calls coming from a call centre. The highway police are also hoping to prevent accidents by installing automated speed guns. “We are studying how automatic speed management is being done in London. We will have to customise it to our needs,” Bhujbal said.


It is indeed a smart move made by the Delhi police to Induct spacious Innova into the fleet of vehicles on Patrol Innova runs on diesel, it is very good from economic point of view. While Gypsy gives an average of 6-8 km/liter — that too on petrol, Innova gives an




by Satish Bhardwaj

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Often we allow ourselves to get all worked up about things that, upon closer examination, aren’t really big a deal. We focus on little problems and concerns and blow them way out of proportion. A stranger, for example, might cut in front of us in traffic. Rather than let it go, and go on with our day, we convince ourselves that we are justified in our anger. We play out an imaginary confrontation in our mind. Many of us might even tell someone else about the incident later on rather than simply let it go. Why not instead simply allow the driver to have his accident somewhere else? Try to have compassion for the person and remember how painful it is to be in such an enormous hurry. This way, we can maintain our own sense of well-being and avoid taking other people’s problems personally. Whether we had to wait in line, listen to unfair criticism, of do the lion’s share of the work, it pays enormous dividends if we learn not to worry about little things. So many people spend so much of their life energy “sweating the small stuff” that they completely lose touch with the magic and beauty of life. When you commit to working toward this goal

Accidents: Medical aid goes cashless The ministry is all set to launch a pilot scheme, providing cashless treatment of up to Rs. 30,000 to road accident victims within the first 48 hours, on the 110-km Amritsar-Pathankot stretch of the National Highway-15 in August. The scheme would be extended across India later. This stretch was chosen because it has high vehicular traffic — 75,000 vehicles per day. Last year, the stretch had reported 2,410 accidents. As part of the scheme, the ministry has tied up with hospitals, trauma centres as well as ambulance services along the stretch to facilitate timely medical treatment. It is also training 1,500 volunteers from the Nehru Yuva

Kendra, so they can act as the first responders after an accident. “During the pilot phase, which will run for a year, the ministr y will create a corpus upfront. We are in the process of finalising the corpus fund,” said Nitin R Gokarn, joint secretary (transport). Experts say the move was long overdue. “It will enhance the chances of survival of a road accident victim by providing proper and timely medical care during the golden hour - the crucial 60 minutes after a highway accident,” a trauma care expert at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences said on the condition of anonymity.



Patient dies in 6-hr wait for ambulance A 25-year-old man, suffering from meningitis, died in a private hospital on Wednesday while his family tried for over six hours to get a ventilatorequipped ambulance which could shift him to another hospital.

Sonu, alias Vikram, a Budh Vihar resident, was admitted to Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital, Madhuban Chowk on Monday evening. He suffered from meningitis and multiple tuberculoma. Deteriorating condition On Wednesday, he was put on ventilator for life-support as his condition deteriorated. The treating doctor asked him to be shifted to another hospital. “Blood-gas analyses has to be conducted frequently when a patient is on ventilator. We don’t have that facility and hence, wanted to shift him to a hospital where analyses could be carried out. His family members were also keen on taking him to Max Hospital,” said Dr Vijay K, Vikram’s treating doctor. The ordeal for the family started from 12 pm. They needed an ambulance with a ventilator to shift Vikram to Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh which is two kilometres from Bhagwan Mahavir. Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital did not arrange the ambulance. The hospital had charged Rs 10,000 in advance. Though the status of patient was changed from general to the economically weaker section (EWS)

category the next day - after production of a below poverty line (BPL) card - the money was not returned. “When they had Rs 10,000 from the patient, why couldn’t they arrange for the ambulance?” said advocate Khagesh Jha, who is following the case. Jha’s organisation, Social Jurist, called the emergency number for ambulance, given by the government. “They replied ‘all our drivers left at 4 pm’,” said Jha. No ambulance could be availed from Max Hospital too. Govt ambulance came late A government ambulance arrived late in the evening, but with a nonfunctioning ventilator and hence could not be used. Waiting for an ambulance, on a ventilator, Vikram collapsed at 7.45 pm. “It is appalling that in the capital of the country a young life was lost due to non-availability of an ambulance to cover two kilometres,” said Jha. Max Hospital told Deccan Herald, “On being contacted, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh immediately agreed to admit the patient for treatment; we requested that the patient be brought to the hospital since the ambulance was not available at the premises.”

Ambulance service reduces number of infant deaths Twelve thousand five hundred babies were born in ‘Arogya Kavacha ‘108’ ambulances across the State since 2008, it has been revealed. The ambulance service, run by the Emergency and Research Institute (EMRI) and the State Government, has contributed significantly towards reducing maternity and infant mortality rates. At a function to honour EMRI personnel early this week, project director of Reproductive Child Health, Dr V Raju, said that the maternity mortality rate currently stands at 173 deaths for every one lakh deliveries per year. Before the launch of service, the figure was 200 for every one lakh. Similarly, the infant mortality rate is currently 38 deaths for every one lakh -- down from 43 before the year 2008. Raju explained that ambulances were crucial in reducing these numbers. “The ambulance ser vice has influenced the institutional delivery system in the State, which has also brought down cases of negligence during child birth,” he said. “We wish to bring the infant mortality rate down from 38 to 30 in the coming years.”

From November 1, 2008 to May 31, 2012, ‘Arogya Kavacha 108’ ambulances supported 7,39,715 pregnancy and child-birth cases -- constituting

nearly 40 per cent of all emergency cases received, according to EMRI-published statistics. On many occasions, trained ambulance staff have found themselves tackling difficult situations. Maheshwar, an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) from Dharwad recalled how he spent the eight

longest minutes of his life, delivering a baby whose limbs were out but whose head was still inside the womb. “With great difficulty, we reached Moraba, 32 km from Dharwad and conducted the delivery in the ambulance. Even after delivery, the baby did not react for several minutes. However, both mother and child were stablised after reaching the hospital,” Maheshwar said. According to B N Sridhar, the regional chief operating officer at EMRI, lack of awareness about child birth and road accessibility make pregnancy and childbirth issues responsible for nearly 40 percent of all emergency cases in Karnataka who have used ambulances from ‘Arogya Kavacha 108.’“A majority of our patients seeking ambulance aid during childbirth are from North Karnataka. They are mostly poverty-line families who call for help after labour pains begin,’ Sridhar said. “ Since most of cases are located in places which are the least accessible, catering to such requests is a major challenge.”



Duma Speaker Accused of Blocking Ambulance

Traffic police in the northern Leningrad region stopped an ambulance to clear the way for the convoy of the current speaker of the Russian State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday. Representatives for Naryshkin denied all the allegations as a tabloid press hoax, but regional police have begun investigating the report, which is based

on an amateur YouTube video. The five-minute video, first uploaded on on Monday, is shot from inside a car and shows traffic police blocking traffic on a road full of vehicles with Leningrad region license plates. An ambulance is heard signaling offscreen and then appears in the footage with flashing lights, a paramedic

shouting from a window at the policeman, who does not react until a cavalcade of several police cars and black sedans passes by. The incident took place in the regional town of Vsevolozhsk, which Naryshkin visited in October, when he was the head of the presidential administration, tabloid said on Wednesday. Medics were trying to resuscitate a man inside the ambulance at the time, but the patient died at the hospital’s threshold, local ambulance official Lyudmila Turlyun told the publication. “The information about the tragic incident is not confirmed. The situation looks like inaccurate information released to attract tabloid readers,” reported opening a probe into the actions of the policeman campaigning against privileged driving, one of which, the Blue Buckets Society, reported the Vsevolozhsk incident on Tuesday, placing it into media spotlight.

Rs 20 lakh ambulance for city animals Stray dogs, household pets, birds, even errant monkeys in Mumbai have reason to rejoice. Animals Matter To Me (AMTM), a group of like-minded people, will soon launch an ambulance service to help in the treatment of animals in the city. The ambulance van and its state-ofthe-art equipments, costing aroundRs. 20 lakh, will be on the streets by the end of June. However, the organisation already gets an average of 100 to 150 calls a day for rescues, adoptions

and vaccination. “We always wanted an ambulance where all possible treatment can be provided on-board instead of having to carr y ever y animal to a shelter. Also, this vehicle will be equipped with state-of-the-art sterilisation equipment, besides X-ray scanners and other facilities, so you don’t have to visit a vet every time. Even surgeries can be done in the van,” says Ganesh Nayak of AMTM. The ambulance will offer its services at a minimal cost, which is necessary to

sustain the cost of on-board treatment. Nayak also says that Tata Motors donated the vehicle while Omung Kumar Bhandula from Blue Lotus Productions, a design studio, conceptualised its unique design. Here’s how the service will operate: Upon receiving a distress call, the information will be scanned by the organisation and sent to a volunteer, vet or an ambulance depending on the caller’s need.




Medical Services at the 2012 Olympic Games and Para Olympic Games: An interview with Richard Budgett The London 2012 Olympic Games will bring thousands of athletes and visitors to London. Richard Budgett is the Chief MedicalOfficer London 2012 and he talked to Alison Sanders (SpR Emergency Medicine/HEMS and Sydney Olympics 2000). What is your role? RB: The Chief Medical Officer is responsible for medical services. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) considers medical services as both health care and anti-doping. Health care includes care for all athletes, their support staff, the vIOC and other staff who are the so-called ‘‘Olympic family’’. The Chief Medical Officer is the channel for all information to and from the IOC on health services and anti-doping. at Game times. The Chief Medical Officer is the channel for all information to and from the IOC on health services and anti-doping.

advertise here


Don’t airlift to India: ex-rebel Pun from hospital bed KATHMANDU: After the UCPN-Maoist PLA Commander Nanda Kishor Pun expressed his unwillingness on Saturday morning to leave for India, for medical treatment, his medical procedures will resume in Kathmandu. The former Maoist insurgent Pun, who is undergoing treatment at Medical

College in Jorpati due to kidney problems, turned down the suggestions of doctors involved in his treatment to airlift Pun to India in an air ambulance for the further treatment. Doctors had planned to admit Pun to Apollo Hospital in New Delhi after the UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal

Dahal and Prime Minister vowed to leave no stone unturned in relieving pun out of illness. Meanwhile, Pun, reclining on the hospital bed has urged the big guns inside the UCPN-Maoist to keep the party intact irrespective of ideological differences, said his son Jitendra Pun.





Audit reveals hundreds of government ambulances have been ‘lost in transit’

for facilitating emergency care in precisely such cases. It was the Union Ministr y of Road Tr a n s p o r t a n d Highways that had been handing over these vehicles 611 ambulances and 502 cranes to state transport departments as well as local NGOs since Indian roads witness the highest 2001. The allocation took place under number of fatal accidents in the world. the National Highway Accident Relief Yet no agency has bothered to keep Service Scheme. track of more than 1,100 ambulances and cranes given by the Centre to Inexplicably, the ministry decided to various states over the last decade conduct a stocktaking exercise more than 10 years after the distribution of the emergency mobile units got underway. A meeting was called in the Capital on May 24 to discuss the issue threadbare. Among the states and Union Ter ritories present were Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, A young boy refused to do his homework, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and his father was trying to convince him Odisha, Assam, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, to do it. He said to his son: “When Abe Karnataka, and Andaman and Nicobar Lincoln was your age, he was studying Islands. books by the light of the fireplace.” The son replied: “Well, when Lincoln was Bar ring Punjab, Har yana and Karnataka, the rest were clueless about your age, he was President!”


the whereabouts of the vehicles. A senior official of the Union ministry said: “We were shocked when the representatives were unable to furnish information about the ambulances and cranes even as they conceded that the vehicles had reached their states.” Most states did not come prepared with the actual status and numbers of the ambulances and cranes operating in their jurisdiction despite the letter about the agenda of the meeting being sent to them on April 30. The central officials sniffed a scam and, in what seemed to be a kneejerk reaction, asked all the states to present a complete status report in the near future. A senior Union ministry official said allegations had been made earlier, too, that the ambulances and cranes were “actually deployed for the thriving private healthcare and construction sectors”. The official disclosed: “An exhaustive questionnaire has been sent to the states for answers on the operational status of the fleet and its current location. Andhra Pradesh was the most prompt in responding and did so on Wednesday.” But this impels the question what the Union ministry itself was doing since 2001. “No one bothered to check the allocation and monitor the operational

status of the vehicles all this while. Even we initiated the process only because a fresh allocation of ambulances is being proposed in the 12th fiveyear plan,” the official admitted. If the vehicles remain untraced, the ministry would find it hard to justify the cost incurred in the entire project. An ambulance costs anything between Rs.6 lakh and Rs.7.5 lakh. The price of a crane is roughly Rs.22 lakh. The Union

Road Ministry spent nearly Rs.14 crore for 70 advanced ambulances in just the last two years.

healthybites One of the main health benefits of watermelon is its status as a powerful antioxidant, found in vitamins A and C, which helps to neutralize free radicals than can lead to inflammation, general sickness and chronic illnesses such as stroke and heart attack. The beautiful pink color of watermelon, due to beta-carotene, is a powerful ally against many types of cancer, particularly colon cancer. Lycopene, a carotenoid found in abundance in watermelon provides additional cancer fighting

health benefits of watermelon. The high water content of watermelon is part of what gives it fat burning benefits, helping to make your metabolism work more efficiently. With a healthy amount of fiber and protein, your body will still work harder simply processing watermelon. To be sure, watermelon works best for fat burning as part of a wellbalanced diet, but vvyou can rest easily that most of the calories in watermelon will be burned quickly after consumption.


In case of a wound The job of first-aider is to remove or reduce the problems that hamper healing such as dirt, infection, movement, etc. Leave the wound undisturbed. Clean the wound by washing them with running water. If there are splinters, thorns and pieces of glass inside the wound remove them with a pair of tweezers so as to avoid infection. RNI No. DELENG/2012/41958. PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY : Satish Kumar Bhardwaj, EDITOR: Satish kumar Bhardwaj, PUBLISHED AT: M-2, Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi - 110048, PRINTED AT: Intergraphic reproductions Pvt. Ltd. A11 DDA Sheds, Okhla Industrial area, Phase-1, New Delhi - 110020