We have no count of how many lives we lost because we couldn’t reach the patient in time. Since there is no worthwhile trauma care facility at our hospitals, we have lost many lives just because we had no critical care ambulances. Some time back, in an incident in South Kashmir, 3 lives were lost when they were battling for life while being shifted from South Kashmir to Srinagar. On reaching the SMHS hospital they had almost given up. Too much loss of blood, and accumulation of fluid in chest cavity, combined with other complications had sealed their fate. The question raised then also, as on other occasions, was about the absence of critical care ambulances. Those well versed with modern healthcare know that a small intervention at right time proves decisive in saving a life. If the injured persons, or others who face complications while at their home or place of work, receive timely trauma care, lives can be saved. When it takes hours to reach the place of treatment, the balance tilts in favour of worse. If we have a critical care ambulances at different hospitals in the vicinity, it would make a great difference in times of emergencies. Every other day we hear of an accident happening on our roads where people are seriously injured, and in certain cases lives are lost.
Now that J&K has decided to get 60 critical care ambulances, we must appreciate it, although we have been too late in adding this fleet of ambulances to our healthcare. This medical need was brought to focus time and again, in the hope that the people in the positions of power and responsibility would take heed. Now that it is on cards, we are hopeful that the ambulances will be soon seen in action. At the same time there is need to get the properly trained staff that would man these ambulances, and make optimal use of the facility. The ambulances available at our district and sub-district hospitals are mere carrier vehicles that need no special staff, but a professional critical care ambulance needs trained personnel that can begin the treatment at the spot of emergency, and make sure that a patient in trauma reaches hospital for further treatment.