National Ambulance Code to be out soon

To ensure quality pre-inter-hospital transfer of patients, the Centre is planning to put in place the National Ambulance Code soon to rationalise ambulance specifications.

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The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has constituted a committee for the purpose under the chairmanship of Dr Shakti K Gupta, who heads hospital administration of All India Institute of Medical Science, to finalise the draft code. The ministry is also in the process of formulating a National Emergency Medical Services Network by interlinking all the existing and new ambulances under a centralised toll free number.

The ministry has committed to provide 140 advance life support ambulances to identified trauma care centres being developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along the national highways.

It is planning to impart first-aid training to drivers, toll booth operators and volunteers from nearby villages along the national highways and to give first-aid training in spinal and head injury cases, a statement from the ministry said.

With more than one death and four injuries every minute, India has the dubious distinction of reporting highest number of road fatalities in the world.

In 2009, there were around 4.9 lakh road accidents, which resulted in deaths of 1,25,660 people and injured more than 5 lakh people in India.

The official number of deaths increased in 2010 to 1.3 lakh. The proportion of injuries to deaths remained unchanged at 4:1. Deaths in road accidents in the country are the highest despite the fact that its population was much less than neighbouring China and more vehicles ply on the US roads than India.

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