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37, 15th October’13, Pages 4

THE AMBULANCE TIMES ~Touch i ng ever yone as soci ated w it h E mergenc y Med ic a l Ser v ice s~

Ambulances struggle with bad parking at Government General Hospital

Transport Minister demands modern ambulances for the State

CHENNAI: James, like any other ambulance driver, is trained to make people give way. Though motorists make way for him, entering theGovernment General Hospital remains a tougher task for him. Haphazard parking of other vehicles at the hospital take away several minutes of the golden hour of the patient in the ambulance. The hospital is facing a major problem with medical students and staffs randomly parking their two-wheelers and cars at the portico, hampering free movement of ambulances. With Al-Umma operative Panna Ismail in the hospital, policemen’s vehicles have added to the chaos. When his repeated warnings did not make any difference, hospital dean Dr V Kanagasabai ordered the hospital security guards to lock the vehicles and collect fines. Says security guard Sundaram who stands at the entry gate, “We have been instructed to lock vehicles that obstruct movement of ambulances.

New Delhi: Transport Minister, G.S.Bali has sought the financial assistance of Government of India in providing modern ambulances

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Apollo Hospitals launches ‘BP Clinics’ HYDERABAD: Apollo Hospitals Group today announced the launch of ‘BP Clinics’ -a comprehensive institutional set-up to provide exper t care to individuals affected by high blood pressure. “The Apollo group is launching BP Clinics for early diagnosis, screening, and treatment of hypertension. Initially, these clinics will be launched at Apollo Jubilee Hills and Hyderguda here, followed by Apollo Secunderabad, and it will be later expanded to other places,” Sangita Reddy, Executive Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and Dr K Hari Prasad, CEO (Central Region) Apollo Hospitals Group said. “Around Rs 10 crore will be invested in setting up these clinics in the initial phase, we will expand further after reviewing the outcomes,” Reddy said.

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and small cranes to carry out relief work more effectively in the cases of road accidents. He has also suggested and demanded for setting up of high quality railings on sharp curves to minimise the accident risks. He was speaking in the 14th National Road Safety Council Meeting at ICAR, New Delhi today. He said that the State Government was taking effective steps to ensure road safety and check road acci-

dents in the State. However, the GoI should consider about formulating a policy regarding the drivers coming to hilly areas who often

met with accidents due to lack of driving experience on the hilly roads.Shri Bali said that way-bridges would be constructed on barriers and major bridges of the State so as to check and control the over loading. The police personnel and RTO’s had been provided with Alcometres to keep check on over speeding. He also said that e-challan system soon would be started in the State Source : 5 Dariya News

No ambulance in Howrah General Hospital for 6 months Kolkata: One should trust Howrah General Hospital for making a mockery of health services. The latest one being that the 630-bed health care facility is sur viving without an ambulance for the last six months, leaving hapless people on the mercy of private operators, who are often fleecing them. The only ambulance possessed by the hospital has turned defunct in need of urgent repairs. Sources said, the government hospital had two ambulances almost a decade ago. An ambulance driver revealed the defunct emergency vehicle is in poor shape requiring immediate replacement rather than repairs. “The vehicle is almost two to three decades old and requires to be removed from services,” he said. Left with no alternative, people have to cough up money for shifting the patients, which was virtually non-chargeable when using government ambulances. A reality check by this correspondent revealed the

thriving business of private operators in the hospital premises. The private vehicle drivers didn’t hesitate to demand around Rs 400 to Rs 500 for taking patients to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital which is almost nine times the amount charged by ambulances run by Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC). Apart from this, the district hospital has also been suffering from the shortage of staff. The two drivers engaged for running an ambulance, under Janani Suraksha Yojana, and a car maintained for different activities of the hospital complain of workload. When contacted, Mr Subodh Kumar Mondal, Medical Superintendent of the hospital said, the government has been informed about the crisis. The district hospital, which was highly lauded by the Ms Mamata Banerjee, has often been grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons. Source : The Statesman

Govt. fails to provide Critical Care Ambulance Jammu: Even after three year s, gover nment has failed to equip district hospitals with Critical Care Ambulances (CCA), which could provide life support system to fatally injured patients, particularly accident victims while being shifted to Government Medical Colleges (GMC) in Jammu or Srinagar. Most of the hospitals lack ambulance facility owing to which critically injured persons have lost their lives during the past several years. Critical Care Ambulance is equipped with ventilator and monitor who secures safe transfer of critically injured patients to other hospitals for specialized treatment. As per the present system, there are control rooms in all the district hospitals of the state, but for shifting the patients only simple ambulances are available containing only first aid kit or oxygen cylinders. In 2010, after facing criticism from social organisations over death of several accident victims whose life could have been saved if ambulances fitted with life support equipment, government had announced procurement of 25 ambulances for which a fund of Rs. 5

crore was approved. “On the name of critical care ambulance four mobile units has been provided to the health department so far,” said an insider. As per the data provided,

no critical care ambulances have been provided to any of the health institutions during the year 2011-12 and 2012-13. Rs. 2.40 crore were sanctioned for Director Health Jammu and Rs 2.40 crore for Srinagar after which tenders were issued but it got struck in red-tape. So far the tenders have been cancelled ten times. “We need many critical care ambulances here. There are times when patient needs life support but can’t get it. The ambulances are not equipped with any life support system,” said a senior government Doctor on condition of anonymity. Source: The Northlines


News

THE AMBULANCE TIMES

IAF copters, air ambulance kept ready for relief Bangalore : To help rescue efforts in the Phailin cyclone

ravaged Odisha, the Indian Air Force base in the city has kept ready three of its twin-engined turbo prop military transport aircraft AN-32, six MI-8 helicopters and an air ambulance with a medical team ready to fly out at short notice. An IAF spokesper-

son said today the aircraft were ready to fly from the Air Force Training Command here. ‘The team and aircraft are ready to fly at short notice for rescue and relief operations, whenever required in the disaster areas’, he said. Source: webindia123

Ambulance drivers should stop jumping signals: ADGP THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The ambulance drivers should stop jumping red signals and other such traffic rule violations as their rash driving cause fatal accidents, said ADGP (Intelligence) T P Senkumar. He was s p e aking at the orientation programme for ambulance drivers organised by National Tr a n s p o r t a tion Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) here on Monday. “Around 60 accidents are occurring in a year in which ambulances are involved. This year up to this month nine persons have been killed in such accidents. Around 12 persons suffered serious injuries and 50 others were injured in these accidents,’’ said Senkumar, who is a former Transport Commissioner

“The ambulance driver s have no right to violate traffic rules and they are bound to obey them as any other motorist. They should not be allowed to jump red sig-

nals and have to drive only through one way wherever they are marked,’’ Senkumar said. He also said that the claim that the number of accidents in the past 12 days have come down due to the strict enforcement of wearing helmets, was not correct. Accidents cannot only be averted by wearing helmets. There are other factors also, he said. Joint Transport Commis-

Ambulances struggle with bad parking at Government General Hospital continued from page - 1

We do that even if such vehicles belong to policemen. After implementing this system, the parking problem has reduced. But thousands of people come to this hospital daily, so it’s difficult to have a totally free way.” The dean says even a few seconds’ delay means life and death for the 60-odd patients brought in by ambulances in stages of emergency every day. Several vehicles that block the way in front of Tower Block - I and Tower Block - II cause chaos when an ambulance comes in and the guards can never find the vehicle owners in time. This results in precious time being wasted and stress levels shooting up for the ambulance drivers, patients inside the am-

bulance and their relatives. “More than the patients and visitors, it’s the hospital staff and students who are problematic when it comes to parking. When the security guards ask them to move the vehicle, they flash their identity cards and walk off,” said Dr Kanagasabai. Six months ago, the hospital council met and decided to curb this problem by imposing a fine on violators. “We decided to impose Rs100 as fine for every vehicle that is not parked in the allotted lot. In a day we penalise more than 10 vehicles. The money collected from this is used to erect notice boards and buy locks and chains,” said resident medical officer Dr Anand Prathap. Source: The Times of India

sioner C M Said Mohammed said that the Motor Vehicles Department would incorporate ambulances drivers in its road safety awareness campaign. National Tr a n s p o r t a tion Planning and Research Centre director B G Sreedevi made the introduc tor y r e mar k s. T V Satheesh, NATPAC consultant (road safet y), led the se ssion on safe driving techni q u e s a n d r oad signs. N a t i o n a l Transportation Planning and Research Centre scientist Subin B led the presentation on road engineering and safety. Joint RTO P M Shaji spoke on traffic rules, requirement and need of vehicle fitness for emergency services. Road safety expert Rajagopalan Nair spoke on defensive dr iving tec hniques. Source: The New Indian Express

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Government to launch National Ambulance Service BHUBANESWAR : Riding high on the success of 108 Odisha Emergency Medical Ambulance Services (OEMAS), the State Government has decided to launch 102 National Ambulance Services (NAS) for free referral transport of pregnant women and sick infants under Janani Sishu Surakhya Karyakram (JSSK) programme. The 102 NAS will be complemented by a 104 toll-free helpline service providing information, advice and counselling to the public roundthe-clock. The move has been made to revamp the Janani Express system by instituting an organised referral transport service which would more effectively cater to the pregnant women and sick neonates in the rural and remote parts. At present, there are 462 Janani Express (JE) vehicles operational in the State but they have been hindered by lack of proper management and tracking. The coverage of beneficiaries from home to institution has never crossed 60 per cent while drop back is further worse at only 40 per cent. In many Janani Express vehicles, the average transport per month is 20 per cent. “However, the contribution of JEs to raise institutional delivery from 35 per cent to a high of 86 per cent in the State cannot be discounted. The decision to launch a dedicated 102 transport service with centralised call centre and GPS-based tracking system has been taken to further strengthen the system and ensure 100 per cent coverage of the ben-

eficiaries,” Health Minister Damodar Rout said. The service is proposed to be launched on PPP mode through an external agency on the lines of 108 OEMAS. Besides, about 500 basic ambulances and about 100 Government ambulances would be pressed into service in the first phase. The executing agency will set up a centralised call centre 102 for ensuring round-the-clock free referral service to the needy people. The GPS fitted vehicles will have to reach the beneficiary within a fixed response time of 30 to 45 minutes. After taking the pregnant woman or sick neonate to the hospital, it will wait for at least 30 minutes to see if further referral is required. Back home drop facilities for mothers after delivery would also be provided after 48 hours. About 13 lakh cases including eight lakh home to institution, one lakh second referral and four lakh home drop are targeted to be serviced through this system. This will also lift a huge burden on the 108 ambulance. While 75 per cent of the cost would be borne from NRHM, a 104 toll-free helpline would also be set up for providing information on reproductive maternal and child health along with counselling services on family planning, nutrition, hygiene, pre and post delivery care, first aid, etc. Expert consultations over toll-free helpline will also be conducted on a determined day of the week between 10 am and 5 pm. Source : The Indian Express

State invites short tenders for 108 ambulance service THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state health depar tment has invited short tenders for operating the 108

lance service of any state government, either covering the entire state or a part of the state, with a fleet of at

ambulance service for six months in Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram. The fresh tender notice said: “Those agencies, which, in the last five years, have operated for minimum two years an emergency ambu-

least 25 ambulances supported by a control room, are eligible to apply.” The Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited has invited new tenders as its agreement with the Ziqitsa Health Care Limited will

expire on October 15. The state has decided on a short tender as it wants to extend the ambulance service to all districts and are planning to call district-wise tenders by January. Ziqitsa has not been given an extension as it is facing a vigilance inquiry following allegations of overbilling against the company’s management. O pp o s ition le ade r V S Achuthanandan too had come out in open against extending the contract to the company and had written to the chief minister urging an inquiry into the allegations against the company. Source:The Times of India


THE AMBULANCE TIMES

News

HAL launches heli ambulance, charter service Bangalore: Public Sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), scripting yet another chapter in its long list of achievements, today launched a specially designed Chetak helicopter for

initiative will bring aviation industry to the door steps of the masses.’’ He said the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) would soon be pressed into service as part of the Helicopter Emergency Medi-

emergency medical evacuation and air charter services here. HAL Chairman Ashok K Baweja formally inaugurated the operations of ‘Vayu Vahan’ at the Rotary Wing Academy in Bangalore airport. The helicopter was designed to undertake emergency evacuation of patients from areas around Bangalore to the main hospitals in the city which were equipped with a helipad. The launch of the air ambulance service is in keeping with the unparalleled growth in the aviation sector. This

cal Services. The charge would be Rs 25,000 per hour for medical evacuation and Rs 55,000 per hour for normal charter operations, he added. HAL Chief Test Pilot Wg Cdr (Retd) C D Upadhya said ‘Vayu Vahan’ would play a pivotal role in saving lives within the ‘golden hour’. HAL had set up a control room to receive SOS/charter calls to undertake the operations. Depending on the feasibility, a confirmation would be given quickly, he added. Source: OneIndia News

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Ambulance - hospital link to save many lives Chennai: Every 30-minute delay in treatment of a person with heart attack doubles chances of death. To bridge this lapse, the medical fraternity has tied up with the state government to bring in a system wherein doctors can monitor patients even as they are brought to hospitals in ambulances. The project involves transmitting the ECG reports of patients in ambulances real time to a doctor at the nearest hospital. The initiative is a collaborative effort between the Tamil Nadugovernment, STEMI systems of care in India and GVK-EMRI which operates the ‘108’ ambulance. “The project works on the principle of hub and spokes. The hub will be a full-fledged hospital, while the spokes will comprise a cluster of secondary healthcare centres,” said Dr K Kannan, head of the department of cardiology, Stanley Medical College and Hospital, which is one of the two hub hospitals in Chennai, the other being Madras Medical Mission. “Ideally a patient should undergo an angioplasty within

the first 120 minutes since the onset of the symptoms, but since it is not possible in a country like ours we give them a drug to dissolve the clot. They can then be transported to a hospital to do angioplasty,” said Dr Kannan. The ECG is transmitted from the device in the ambulance to the nearest hospital using a mobile phone in the vehicle. “By going through the ECG earlier, we can prevent delays and be prepared for the patient,” said Dr Justin Paul, professor of cardiology at Stanley Medical College. Four clusters have been identified for the project in the state, with Stanley Medical College, Madras Medical Mission, Christian Medical College, Vellore, and Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital, Coimbatore, being the hubs. While the project has been implemented in Coimbatore, saving 2 0 0 lives, data collection is underway in Chennai and it will be implemented by November-end. “In India, less than 8% of people with heart problems receive the best treatment. Lack of financial assistance,

delayed treatment and lack of facilities, including transpor t ation pr oblems ar e among the major reasons,” said Dr Thomas Alexander of Kovai Medical Centre. He said 10% to 20% of the patients die even before they make it to a hospital. “Usually a family member or a neighbour take a patient to the hospital instead of calling an ambulance equipped with first-aid. A lot of time is lost this way,” said Dr Alexander. The project is being funded by the chief minister’s comprehensive health insurance scheme. The government is planning to equip 200 more ambulances with automated external defibrillators to ensure that the level of prehospital care provided in the ambulances are better, said B Prabhudoss, regional manager for 108 ambulance service. Cardiac emergencies constituted about 10% of the total cases that 108 received last year. According to available data, such incidence in Tamil Nadu is about 35% higher than the national average. Source:The Times of India

ADGP: no exemption for ambulances in MV Act ‘108’ ambulance staff threaten state-wide stir THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, The Motor Vehicles Act (MV Act) does not allow any exemptions for ambulance drivers, Additional Director General of Polic e (A DG P), Intelligence, T.P. Senkumar has said. Inaugurating a one-day training programme for ambulance drivers, organised by the National Tr ansp or t ation Planning and Research Centre (Natpacp) and the Motor Vehicles Department at Sasthra Bhavan, Pattom,

here on Monday, Mr. Senkumar said all MV Act rules and regulations were applicable

to ambulance drivers as well except for the Clause 10 of the Act that stipulated that other vehicles should give way for ambulances and fire engines. State, Mr. Senkumar also cautioned against misuse of the clause.

Joint Transpor t Commissioner Syed Mohammed, detailing on the aspects ambulance drivers had to give special attention to, said nine persons had died in accidents involving ambulances till October this year. Sessions on road regulations and traffic signs, road engineering, vehicle fitness, defensive driving, and the nuances of ambulance driving were held during the workshop. It was attended by about 70 drivers, including five from the Travancore Charitable Society which offered free ambulance services, nine from the 108 service, and 53 from various hospitals. Natpac Director B.G. Sreedevi also spoke. Source: The Hindu

MADURAI: In a bid to draw the attention of the State government and the management, the members of “108 Ambulance Services Association” have started distributing pamphlets seeking public support for their various demands. The government started the ‘108’ ambulance services as a public-private venture to reach out to the needy during emergencies. Today, in Tamil Nadu, there are 670 ambulances operating with over 1,800 employees across all districts. With the growing number of vehicles and road accidents, the importance of emergency services like ‘108’ had grown manyfold. The public were aware of the services of the ‘108’ ambulances, they said. They alleged that the management had not considered their ‘just’ demands despite repeated reminders and representations. Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, state officebearers of the Association, including R. Marisami (vicepresident), M. Sendhil Kumar (general secretary), K. Palkannan (organising secretary) and A. Saravanan (treasurer), said the working hours for the employees were beyond the stipulated eight hours.

Driving under stress might be risky for the drivers and the accident victims, who were being rushed to hospitals. Though they took this issue up with senior officials, no positive step was taken, they blamed. “Similarly, our salaries were not fixed commensurate with the price index. The workers were getting Rs.6000 to Rs.8000. Women employees working in night shifts do not have proper shelter or toilet facilities. Many vehicles operating in remote areas are not maintained properly,” they alleged. The government should intervene and resolve the issues, they said, and added that if the government failed to do so, they would go on a state-wide stir. Earlier, the employees distributed pamphlets to the public at various locations in the city and peripheries. Meanwhile, a senior official representing the ‘108’ ambulance services’ management, requesting anonymity, said old vehicles were replaced with new ones. Similarly, spares like tyres among others were changed whenever required. The salaries were paid as per norms to its employees, he maintained. Source: The Hindu


THE AMBULANCE TIMES

News

News

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Aberdeen flights resume after Ambulances turned away from overwhelmed air ambulance runway incident A&E at Watford General Hospital Flights in and out of Aberdeen International Airport have resumed after an air ambulance left the runway while taxiing. The Scot tish Ambulance Ser vice said its aircraf t, operated by Gama Aviation, was involved in the incident just before 12:00. A patient, being routinely

transferred from Shetland, was on board the plane, along with an escort, a paramedic and two crew. No-one was injured. There was no damage to the aircraft. All flights were suspended for about three hours and services were diverted to Edinburgh and Glasgow. A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “An air ambulance plane on a routine non-emergency trans-

fer from Shetland appears to have come off the runway at Aberdeen while taxiing after landing. “There were no injuries to anyone on board and the patient has been transferred to hospital.” In a statement, Gama Aviation said a full investigation was underway.

It said: “Today at 11:49 local time a Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft, operated on behalf of the Scottish Air Ambulance by Gama Aviation Ltd, undertook a normal landing at Aberdeen Airport, following a routine patient transfer from Lerwick. “Whilst entering the taxiway, the aircraf t experienced steering difficulties and departed the runway onto the grass.” Source: BBC News

GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute, Secundrabad has qualified in the technical bid evaluation for operating the 108 ambulance chain service in Thiruvananthapuram and Allappuzha. The GVK is a well experienced group with operating the ambulance chain in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Utharakand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Source:The Times of India.

The A&E department at Watford General Hospital has become so over whelmed ambulances had to be diver ted to Stevenage today. The move comes af ter emergenc y doctors were faced with an influx of a “significant number of patients”, many of whom had complex conditions that required a stay in hospital. One paramedic working for the East of England Ambulance Trust told the Watford Observer this caused a backlog of patients in the early hours of this morning, which saw ambulances waiting up to three hours to drop-off. ackie Ardley, West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust chief nurse, said: “Between 7.20am and

9.30am this morning, the ambulance service diverted patients to other local hospitals.

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at large,” a release quoted Reddy as saying. These clinics aim at reducing the disease burden on the

“This is a standard approach when an A&E has been busy for a sustained period of time and helps ensure that patients are given the care they need.” The paramedic, who asked to remain anonymous, said some ambulance s wer e sent to the Lister hospital in

Stevenage, some 25 miles away. Today top staff at the hospital urged patients not to turn up at A&E unless t he ir c o n dit io n was “serious and life-threatening”. Ms Ardley added: “We would ask local people to remember that A&E departments are for people with serious and lifethreatening injuries and illnesses. “People who need urgent, non-life threatening medical help should call NHS111 for advice or support. “Alternatively, you can visit the urgent care centre at Hemel Hempstead Hospital or minor injuries unit at St Albans Hospital.” Source: Watford Observer

Apollo Hospitals launches ‘BP Clinics’ Apollo BP Clinics are aimed at combating the menace of high BP in the country with a focus on reducing or delaying incidence of blood pressure and minimise the incidence of complications in those who are already hypertensive, she explained. “Apollo BP Clinics will have a structure comprising Advanced BP Clinics located at our hospitals and serve as hubs and a series of BP Clinics, Express BP Clinics and Home care services, to reach out to the community

society by detecting hypertension early and by recommending proper treatment options for the patients,

Reddy added. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for considerable disease, disability, and premature death amongst Indians. Approximately 25 per cent of adults in the urban areas and 15 per cent of adults in the rural areas have hypertension. Quoting a report of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the release said it is estimated that 8090 million adults in India have chronic hypertension. S o ur c e: Times

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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


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