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Humanity on wheels

MEMS had done a laudable job during the recently concluded Ganesh festival by stationing ambulances at crowded locations of the city.

Humanity-on-wheels-LeadThe Maharashtra Emergency Medical Service (MEMS) is a specialized service where emergency healthcare needs are addressed through well defined care processes by trained (Emergency Medical and Referral Services) EMS professionals. Important aspect of EMS includes early detection of any emergency, immediate response, reporting, on- scene care, en route care and transfer to appropriate definitive healthcare facility. The state government has outsourced the entire project to BVG India Ltd. The EMS had done a laudable job during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Janmashtami. Fifteen ambulances had been station at crowded locations of the city to provide first aid and other services before the victim reaches the hospital.

Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, chief operating officer at BVG India Limited who runs Maharashtra Emergency Medical Service (MEMS) said, “There are basically two types of vehicles, the ones with Basic Life Support (BLS) system and one with Advanced Life Support System (ALS). “These can be called for by dialling the nationwide number being used under the project -108. It aims to bring about a 20 per cent reduction in mortality and morbidity rate.”

Community needs including emergency care or EMS requirement during road traffic accidents, cardiac emergencies, fire emergencies and multi casualty incidents have been well articulated and partly served in urban areas.

It is also identified that EMS need for stroke, respiratory emergencies, diabetic emergencies and several others have been unidentified and unserved in rural as well as urban communities. An integrated approach by Medical, Police and Fire is essential for effective delivery of emergency patient care.

India accounts for about 10 per cent of road crash fatalities worldwide. In terms of absolute numbers more people die in road crashes in India than anywhere else in the world, including the more populous China.

“We are currently serving on an average more than 900 patients every day across Maharashtra. This number is continuously increasing since the launch of MEMS services on 26th February. There is an increase in emergency cases of about 15 per cent during festivals” added Shelke.
Any person in distress should access EMS system by dialing 108 from any landline or mobile throughout the state. The caller needs to provide the following information after calling 108:

  • i. Name of the caller
  • ii. Exact location of the incident with landmarks
  • iii. Type of emergency
  • iv. Number of persons involved
  • v. Any existing or possible hazards. On an average, at present it takes 3 minutes to dispatch the ambulance during any emergency.

Computer aided dispatch mechanism is utilized for dispatching ambulance during an emergency. If one ambulance is busy in emergency case and another call comes from the same area the next nearest ambulance is dispatched. The advanced vehicles has oxygen support, defibrillator machinations for cardiac revival, syringe pumps, infusion pumps and ventilator support.

About 50 per cent of emergency cases are responded within 10 minutes, 25 per cent of cases within 20 minutes, 12 per cent of cases within 30 minutes and in 13 per cent of cases it has taken more than 30 minutes to respond. Generally population, geography, traffic conditions, trauma hotspots etc are considered for allocating ambulance in a particular area.

The organization informs the police after the occurrence of an accident and it doesn’t wait for police interception. Since emergency services are always busy serving patients it is necessary that common people should learn to provide first aid to patient before the ambulance arrives.

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