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Delhi: Help On Two Wheels In Places Where Ambulance Can’t Go

In the eastern region of the capital, ambulances are often unable to negotiate the narrow lanes during emergencies. For despairing people, Delhi government’s motorcycle ambulances have come as life saviours. Since the fleet was launched eight months ago by the health department, the 16 two-wheeled ambulances have assisted in 1,095 people reaching hospitals till October 31.

Fitted with portable oxygen cylinders, splints and other medical equipment as well as GPS and a communication device integrated with the Centralised Accident & Trauma Services (CATS), an autonomous body of Delhi government, the bikes respond to a call on the 102 helpline. They are not designed, however, to take patients to hospital, only to provide emergency medical support at the spot and to transport the patients through confined spaces inaccessible to a regular ambulance. Within the golden hour, the bike ambulances provide emergency stabilisation support and bring the patients to a place where the general ambulance awaits to transport them to hospital.

In June Raj Rani Devi, 74, a resident of Shakarpur, collapsed on the stairs of a shop there, severely injuring her head and back. Shakarpur’s lanes are almost impossible for four-wheelers to drive through, whatever is left of the narrow space often taken up by illegally parked vehicles. While disbelieving locals watched, someone dialled 102.

Within 15 minutes, the two-wheeled facility reached the spot. The attendant put the unconscious woman on oxygen and stopped the bleeding. When she regained her senses, she drank some water before being ferried to a regular ambulance and on to a nearby hospital. She is doing well, according to records of the motorcycle ambulance services compiled by Delhi government.

On June 19, Rinku Karan Singh’s motorcycle met with an accident in a Gokulpuri lane and a bike ambulance helped him reach the hospital in time. “The incident took place in a cramped lane near the Gokulpuri flyover. I was conscious but bleeding,” Singh said. “Within 10 minutes of a passer-by summoning a bike ambulance, I was being helped.” Thanks to the intervention, he did not lose much blood.

In a similar way, Rakesh Kumar, a private company employee, also received medical help after a midnight crash near Mayur Vihar on June 28. “Nobody came to my rescue, but I somehow managed to dial 102. The attendant provided first aid and within 10 minutes a regular ambulance arrived at the spot,” Kumar testified.

The bikes are frequently the first responders at accident sites and offer assistance ranging from managing high or low sugar and blood pressure to fractures, bleeding and trauma. These highly mobile ambulances have proved their worth in impassable areas, said a health department official. “They are significantly reducing ambulance response time in congested areas and the jhuggi clusters in the region, particularly in east, north-east and Shahdara districts,” the official added.

The success of the scheme has inspired the government to consider the expansion of the motorbike healthcare scheme and it is planning to take the service to the remaining parts of the city too.-Times Of India

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