ambulance services

Ambulance Services - wise or vice usage?

Ambulance services have become an indispensable part of healthcare organizations. These medical transport services are widely dedicated to saving lives. All countries possess this valuable asset. Even when the traffic is heavy, one can see racing ambulances with loud sirens. We don't understand the value of emergency services until we face critical situations.

During the old times, the ambulance was only used in war fields. But, now it's present all around the world. And there are various types of medical transport services too. Apart from the typical ambulance, there are bike ambulances and air ambulances. During the Chennai floods, there was a necessity to have boats for rescue. So, there is a need to explore the usage of boat ambulances. Especially in places connected through water, the only means of transport to the nearby hospital is through boats.

Uses of Ambulance Services

An ambulance is a medically equipped vehicle used to facilitate the transport of patients to treatments centers such as hospitals. There will be specialized medical staff such as the EMTs(Emergency Medical Technicians) and Paramedics who can handle critical emergencies.

It is necessary to check the conditions of the vehicle and do the regular maintenance of equipments. The medical staff on duty should be skillful. Appropriate training makes sure that they are updated with their skills. A chain of networks with hospitals would ensure that the patients are attended to at the right time.

Ambulances are employed basically in two situations. Firstly, it is used in emergency cases. Cardiac attacks, accidents and trauma prompt for sudden actions. Through ambulance on-call services, one can avail ambulances at a place of need. EMS Ambulance services play an important role in such scenarios. Secondly, for cases such as transporting patients from their home to hospital and vice- versa, here,non-emergencies ambulances services are provided.

Misuses of Ambulance Services

  • A frequent misuse which is heard of is prank calls. It causes genuine callers to wait while the lines remain busy.
  • Sometimes, drivers switch on the sirens during non-emergencies, just to reach faster in heavy traffic.
  • Frequent non-emergency ambulance users utilize EMS ambulance services unnecessarily, which makes it difficult to provide emergency service for the required patient.
  • Since individuals may not possess any means of travel to the hospital, they might make-up reasons to avail ambulance service just to get to the hospital.
  • There is a lack of awareness about the usage of these medical services due to which people do not understand when to utilize ambulance services.

Mitigation Steps

  • To eliminate prank calls, efforts are put in from the police force and cyber cell to trace the frequent prank callers.
  • Drivers of ambulance services should be trained and monitored in their work practices. Plenty of rest and rotational shifts need to be implemented, as this job requires focus and attention.
  • There is a need to create more awareness in today's world regarding the usage of ambulance services. It would make sure that misuse or abuse are reduced.
  • People should understand that the ambulance is a demanded vehicle for a person in distress. And hence it should not be called for silly issues.

In Chennai, there are about 930 recorded ambulances plying at the moment. There would other unrecorded ambulances extending their support. Connectivity and optimum reach is a necessity. There are many individuals in cities, rural and forest areas who are not able to afford or access such services. The government of Tamil Nadu introduced '108' ambulance service in 2008. It operates 24x7 and is affordable compared to other private medical transports in Tamil Nadu. There are apps and technologies which are trying to connect the patient with emergency support at the appropriate time. There is a vast scope for changes and advancements to enhance the functionality of medical transports services.

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