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News : Ambulance Reaches 35 Minutes After Call to 108
Nagpur, India, Sept 14 2016 -- If anything goes wrong with you medically, the least you expect is an ambulance to carry you to the near nearest hospital quickly and save your life.
Some days back, a Good Samaritan had a bad experience when he called govenment's 108 ambulance service to fetch a patient who had fainted in an ATM probably because cabin's AC wasn't worked. Ajay Gajbhiye, who runs a pharma franchise, tried to help the senior citizen in ICICI Bank ATM at Sharada square in Old Subhedar Layout. He had a tough time getting the ambulance to the spot. The ambulance finally arrived in 35 minutes and the patient could have died due to the delay, claims Gajbhiye.
Gajbhiye said the emergency response officer (ERO) in the 108 call centre at Pune wasted a lot of time asking too many unnecessary medical questions that only a doctor or a relative could have answered. "What if the patient has no relative around? How would anyone know the patient's medical history to answer the medical questions? The basic job of the call centre should be to send an ambulance from the nearest spot as they claim in less than 20 minutes," Gajbhiye told TOI.
In this case the patient was 70-plus, very bulky and apparently with high blood pressure and diabetes. Gabhiye said he even told the ERO that the patient had high pulse but he connected me to a doctor who began bombarding me with questions. The call centre also asked him where the nearest government hospital was. "I was told that though Government Medical College and Hospital and Super Specialty Hospital were just 2km range there was no 108 ambulance with GMCH. In desperation I called up 100 to seek help from some police. The police too told me to call 108 again. I am happy this patient gained consciousness when I called for help from neighbours and brought him out of the ATM. But he could have died without help," said Gajbhiye who made his son wait an hour after his tuition class was over to learn to help people.
The 108 zonal manager in city Dr Deepak Ukey said the ERO was expected to finish the call in 2 minutes and transfer it to the doctor in nearest ambulance to coordinate. "There are two types of ambulances, one with basic life support system and one with advanced life support system. ERO questions to decide which one to send," he said. Rituparna Deshmukh, the 108 district manager also justified the questioning. He said generally relatives were main callers and could share medical information of the patient.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, September 19, 2016