Srinagar: Expressing concern over lack of air ambulance service in Kashmir valley, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday alleged that many lives are lost due to it.
“Non-availability of the air ambulance is costing lives of trauma and emergency patients,” DAK president Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said in a statement issued here.
He said the majority of these patients die because they are unable to reach hospitals within the golden hour, crucial for their survival. “Time is the essence when it comes to trauma and emergency patients and sooner they receive treatment, the better the chances of survival,” he added.
Dr Hassan said road ambulance is the only way to reach hospitals in Kashmir which fails to meet the requirements of golden hour. “Air transport saves lives because patients get to the hospital faster by it,” he said.
“Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine found an increased rate of survival among those trauma patients who were rescued by chopper than those transported by ground ambulance, Dr Hassan said, adding that “a study by Biewener et al in 2004 showed a 50 per cent reduction in the mortality rate when patients were transported to a trauma centre by a helicopter.”
Dr Hassan said the geographic and mountainous terrain of Kashmir Valley renders air transport a far more effective option than regular road transport. “Air ambulance service is the need of the hour in the valley, giving its topography where various areas remain cut-off for the most part of the winter due to heavy snowfall and rains,” he said.
“In absence of critical care ambulance, patients who need to be airlifted from Srinagar to outside hospitals for treatment have to shell out huge sums to arrange such transportation from outside the state, an option which only a few can afford,” he added.