That elusive key to opening up gridlock for ambulances

That elusive key to opening up gridlock for ambulances

Traffic jams hinder 70% of critical patients on way to hospital

That elusive key to opening up gridlock for ambulances

Ambulances are often stuck in traffic gridlocks at busy intersections where lights take their own time to turn green. The worse is when traffic cops are not around.

The siren of the ambulances sound louder even as precious minutes are wasted for the patients being taken to the hospital. This is, however, not new to the City and its commuters.

Dr Prasanna Kumar, Resident Medical Officer, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, feels that at least 6 out of 10 lives could be saved, if the victim of an accident, heart attack or brain stroke (paralysis) - for example - is brought to the hospital in the golden hour.

“A study reveals that 70 per cent of them do not reach the hospital in time due to various reasons, mostly traffic,” he said.

With the speed reducing to less than 15 kmph during peak hours, due to exhausted roads in a City with a vehicular population of about 60 lakh, meeting the ‘golden hour’ deadline remains a challenge to ambulance drivers.

While a lot of efforts are put in to create a green corridor to transport organs for transplantation, there are many instances of ‘brought-dead’ cases, when ambulances shifting patients are  stuck in traffic snarls, doctors say.

However, S S Perveez, senior manager of Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI-GVK ), which runs the ‘108’ ambulance service, is of the opinion that the public and trained traffic constables give priority to ambulances.

“We are in constant touch with the traffic police. There are no problems at intersections where there are police on duty, but there are issues in other places,” he said, adding that there were 69 State-run ambulances in the City.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M A Saleem said that there are 353 signalised intersections and the traffic personnel have been told to switch the lights to green when ambulances are approaching. He said there were traffic police in all the signals. The officer said that the department was booking cases against those overtaking and creating hindrances for ambulances.