Details for Reform Option "Bike Ambulances: First Response Unit"
Background: In cities and towns, the population is increasing exponentially due to various socio economic reasons along with the number of motor vehicles. But the length of roads are constant, thereby the road traffic is increasing tremendously. Therefore, the opportunity of road traffic accidents, and hence fatality due to the accidents is increased. In bigger cities, the trauma accidents also happen in narrow roads and reaching the site by four wheeler Ambulances takes some more time comparatively to that of broader roads.
Action: In order to reduce the fatality due to accident in the narrow roads, the Government of Karnataka introduced a new innovative scheme Bike Ambulance (First Response Unit) on 15th April 2015.
The first-aid and medical care during the Platinum Ten Minutes is paramount to save the life of an accident victim, hence the pioneering attempt to start motorbike ambulance service. It is an unique initiative and is the first of its kind to be taken up in our Country.
The motorbike ambulance service is a pilot and pioneering initiative to ensure first-aid to the victims during the Golden hours, where the chances of survival in case of critically injured patients increases.
Bike Ambulances are useful for negotiating the small streets and heavy traffic in the large urban areas where it would be difficult to move four wheeler ambulances through crowd. The fleet of high-powered touring motorcycle is available when required to respond to various trauma/medical incidents.
The programme will be implemented through GVK-EMRI who is already experience in providing such services through Arogya Kavacha- 108. Riders are paramedics or EMTs who are already recruited and trained on managing emergencies. Motorbike ambulance drivers would be fully trained in rendering first aid and would start resuscitation measures to save the victim.
Results: Till July 2015, i.e., four months after inception, 177 emergency cases (both minor trauma and accidents) were attended by Bike Ambulances. Out of this, there were 5 critical cases.
The cost depends on the number of ambulances to be engaged. The manpower is being used from the existing GVK EMRI.
The number of Bike Ambulances which are currently deployed in Bangalore are 19, in Mangalore are 2, and one each to the corporation areas of Mysore, Kalburgi, Belagavi, Hubballi- Dharwad, Davangere, Tumkur, Vijayapura, Shimoga and Kolar districts, where heavy traffic congestion and narrow streets would be easily overcome by the agile nature of the bikes.
These motorbike ambulances would render first aid to emergencies such as accidents, heart attacks, brain attack, poisoning and fire accidents. Areas difficult to access in a conventional ambulance the rapid responder bike ambulances are able to arrive on scene and begin treatment of critical patients several minutes before the arrival of a conventional ambulance whilst still carrying all the essential equipment of an ambulance.
Two-wheelers by virtue of their size could manoeuvre through narrow and busy roads and reach accident spots with ease while they will be followed by a fully equipped four-wheeler ambulance for shifting the victim to a nearest hospital for further treatment.
Bike ambulance is able to respond to a medical emergency much faster than an ambulance or a car in heavy traffic which can increase survival rates for patients suffering cardiac arrest/ accident/ other emergencies.
Even as the motorbike ambulance reaches the spot, it will be quickly followed by a fully-equipped ambulance which will shift the patient to the nearest hospital for further treatment.
Chances of survival of many critical patients injured in accident who require immediate treatment can be saved.
First aid to patients can be provided immediately in areas where there is heavy traffic.
The drivers of the Bike Ambulances should be First Aid trained and capable of handling the patients who are in Trauma/Accident site.
Who needs to be consulted
Dr Parimala, Joint Director, Directorate of Health and FW Services Government of Karnataka Bangalore.
Chances of Replication
It can be replicated in cities and towns.
The Director, Directorate of Health Services, Govt. of Karnataka, Ananda Rao Circle Bangalore.