Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Advantages of 108 Ambulances over other Ambulances

The state roads in Punjab are notorious for the number of accidents and deaths coupled with rash driving. A 2015 report claims that on an average, 9 people die every day due to road accidents in Punjab. From July to September 2015 alone, almost 1248 people have lost their lives and more have sustained injuries. With the rate of road accidents only increasing, and keeping in mind the importance of the ‘Golden Hour’, an efficient, top quality Emergency Response Service (ERS) can save many lives.

The 108 ambulance service in Punjab, launched in 2010 as a joint effort by the State government and Ziqitza Healthcare Limited, has steadily improved the quality of emergency ambulance services with their state-of-the art mobile equipment and highly skilled medical personnel.

General ambulances usually feature a stretcher, an assistant and basic medical support to help with the transfer from home or accident spot to hospital. The lack of proper medical care has been cited as one of the leading causes of deaths, despite timely response by ERS units. As such, advanced technology and trained medical attendants have been identified as crucial components to saving lives and improving access to medical care.

The fleet of 108 ambulance services in Punjab comprises of both Advance Life Support (ALS), equipped for cardiac care support, and Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances with sophisticated features like defibrillators, cardiac monitors and suction machines, among others. The ambulances are also stocked with a variety of emergency medicines and oxygen cylinders.

The 108 Ambulance service core team consists of a driver, a doctor and a paramedic – all specially trained to respond to crisis and handle a range of critical or trauma-related cases such fever heart-attach, assault, animal bite and more. The drivers undergo rigorous training in navigating city traffic in the safest way possible. All qualified doctors and medics stationed in ALS ambulances have at least one year of ICU experience. The response team also maintains a record of all the treatment and drugs administered to the patients, in addition to the time of the accident and emergency call, and hands it over the doctor in-charge at the hospital. General ambulances lack the sophistication and safety of such systemized procedures.

One of the major advantages of the 108 ambulance service in Punjab is that any person in need of emergency help can dial the toll free number 108 and connect to specially trained communication executives who understand the nature of the emergency and can act in a solution-oriented manner immediately. These executives then locate the ambulance nearest to the site, contact the driver and guide them into reaching the site. They are response team is also briefed on the condition of the victim. Often, the doctor or the paramedic stays in touch with the patient or the people around him via phone call while the ambulance is on the way. This also helps them remain calm and avoid panic.

In comparison to this efficient and empathetic approach of 108 Ambulance Service, general ambulances are often disorganized and lack basic background information on the patient. Combined with lack of specific medical equipment, a patient’s life is put at an increased risk. On the other hand, experienced and professional medical technicians of the 108 team are able to provide quality pre-hospital care and improve chances of survival.