At least 100 hospitals in Mumbai will soon start an integrated trauma care facility to provide round the clock ambulance service and trauma care to patients on way to a hospital from an accident site.
Facilitated by the powerful American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the emergency medical service and trauma facility would help citizens to avail fully equipped ambulances within minutes of an accident.
"The ambulance would have all the facilities available in an operation theatre. One doctors, one assistant, oxygen, other required machines would be placed inside it," said Navin C. Shah, co-founder of AAPI.
This alone would reduce trauma-related fatalities up to 90 percent, he stated.
A practising neurologist, Shah said the emergency call that would be received through a dedicated single telephone number would immediately direct a fully equipped ambulance to the accident spot.
On the way, the attending doctor would start consulting an expert physician of any nearby hospital and take the patient to the hospital best equipped to deal with the problems.
"It would be like a moving hospital for a patient requiring immediate attention. Trauma patients (or someone taking care of them) can dial an integrated helpline number 1298 and the service would reach them immediately.
"The expert team would pick the patient from the spot, treat him while on ambulance and bring to a nearby hospital depending on the kind of treatment required," Shah told IANS during a visit here.
AAPI, that has about 42,000 doctors of Indian origin as its members, would facilitate the proper training of few Mumbai doctors in specialised trauma care in the US. "At least four doctors this year."
Shah said he had a fruitful meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Health Secretary A. Khan, Joint Municipal Commissioner G.S. Damle and chief executives of 10 top hospitals like Hinduja Hospital, Lilavati Hopsital and Breach Candy Hospital earlier this week.
"We have formed the committee and the service, first of its kind in India, may start in June. Over 100 private and public hospitals at the primary, secondary and tertiary level would be part of the initiative," Damle said.
"Such a facility is the necessity of Mumbai as the ratio of trauma accidents are almost double the national ratio," he added.
In India, an average 24 trauma accidents take place per 10,000 vehicles every day as against a meagre two such accidents in the US. In Mumbai, the ratio is 40 trauma accidents per 10,000 vehicles.
"While the fatality rate in road accidents are up to 20 percent, in case of train accidents the casualty rate is at least 50 percent. We hope the initiative would reduce death by almost 90 percent," Damle added.
Shah said they have unanimously decided to start the service with at least 17 ambulances. "Its an integration of the existing facilities. We have asked the government for 10 more ambulances."
"America has a huge trauma care network. Even helicopters are used for this service but we are starting here with ambulances. It's the modified version of American model and if found successful would be replicated in other major cities," he said.
The participating hospitals have been divided into four levels.
In a level one hospital, there must be round the clock presence of general surgeons, anaesthesiologist, emergency room physician, operating room staff, and respiratory therapist.
Availability of thoracic, cardiac, neurosurgery and all other surgical sub speciality experts must be available within 30 minutes. The hospital should also have well equipped dedicated room for trauma patients in the emergency ward.
The level two hospitals would have all facility like level one except facilities for cardiac and neurosurgery. The level three centres should have facilities like the level two except surgeon and surgical sub specialists. Level four hospitals would only have faculties for resuscitation and stabilisation of seriously injured patients.
Round the clock presence of physicians, staffs and ICU facilities is a must, Shah who left India 34 years back said.
"All this effort from our side is not for money. Its our service to the mother land."