In Kashmir, 4 ‘Strategic Locations’ to Have ‘Critical Care’ Ambulance Services




Critical Care Ambulances

The restive Kashmir Valley will soon be receiving first of its kind ‘Critical Care Emergency Medical Services’ for common people.

Under Kashmir Life Line (KLL) initiative, the ambulance services will be launched by Center for Research and Development Policy (CRDP) and Borderless World Foundation (BWF) in collaboration with the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK), a CRDP statement said.

“Initially, both the groups will be providing four (4) fully equipped Cardiac and Trauma Care Ambulances to the Health department. The Health Services Department will manage and run the ambulance services,” the statement said.

The statement informed, “the ‘Critical Care Ambulances’ will be stationed at four different locations of the Valley viz Sangrama in Baramulla district, Qazigund in Islamabad district, Sanatnagar and Dargah areas in Srinagar district.”

“The organizations are planning to launch 15 such ambulances in the Valley by the end of this year,” the statement added.

According to the statement, Borderless World Foundation (BWF) had “conducted an Emergency Medical Services Survey in the frontier district of Kupwara in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai”.

According to the Survey, the statement said, “emergency cases found were delivery cases, cardiac arrests, road side accidents, brain hemorrhage, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, food poisoning, burns, paralysis, psychiatric problems, respiratory problems and so on,” adding, “therefore, it is very essential to have Emergency Medical Services in place in order to cater such critical cases at the earliest.”

With the cases of accidents and emergencies increasing every day, the peripheral health care facilities and tertiary care hospitals in Kashmir are ill-equipped to provide requisite care to the victims. “The recent floods of September 2014 have further aggravated the already grave scenario of infrastructure and equipment. Policy makers, planners, administration and government have all harped on the promise of fulfilling the vacuum in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) but nothing significant has been done. Experts believe that immediate and effective care are the most important factors that can save lives,” the statement said and further added, however, “the available emergency health care in the state seems neither capable of providing immediate nor an effective care to the patients / victims.”

Chairperson BWF, Adeek Kadam.

Chairperson BWF, Adeek Kadam.

“The statistics of the Traffic Control Department reveal that in 2012, 2346 accidents were reported from Kashmir alone in which 368 people died and 3555 people were injured. Many of the injured ended up with permanent disabilities. In 2013, 2256 road accidents were reported killing 353 and injuring 3033. The official figure of the killed people up to the month of June 2014 was 185. This points out the increasing need to have EMS in the close vicinity of the accident spots,” the statement said detailing the raod accident graph of valley. “As per the official documents, the Emergency Department at SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura receives approximately 200-300 patients daily and 55-60% of these need to be hospitalized. Many of these admissions are related to trauma and other medical emergencies.”

The statement while quoting a written reply to a question posed by Naresh Gupta to the the CM Omar Abdullah, 3288 people have been killed and 27, 165 injured in 18, 786 accidents across the state in three years (2009, 2010 and 2011).

“Therefore,” the statement said, “as per the available data about the accident related deaths, pregnancy related deaths, deaths due to cardiac arrests, deaths due to unavailability of trauma and critical care units, it becomes necessary to have a network of Emergency Medical Services across the Valley so that the victims receive immediate and effective treatment and loss of precious lives can be averted.”

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