Absence of a coordinated trauma services by various related agencies including concerned ministries is resulting in avoidable deaths and long term disabilities in about 4.67 lakh road accidents in the country each year .There is a strong need for strengthening trauma care system in the country to avoid these tragedies
“During the year 2020 about 1.3 lakh persons died in the country due to road accidents, which were mostly preventable had the country had committed trauma care services as in most of the developed countries . In India better coordinated preventive measures are needed including enhanced trauma services, and capacity building for pre hospital trauma care on the national highways and coming up expressways ” said Dr Sunil Kumar , Director General, Health Services, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MH&FW) while speaking at a webinar on ‘Strengthening Emergency care system along the National Highways and Expressways a national priority, organised by International Road Federation -India Chapter (IRF-IC) here late last evening.
” Apart from creating trauma care facilities on National Highways an expressways a lots need to be done for capacity building to provide pre hospital trauma care including revision of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Act which at present is not specific . there is no proper formulation offered by the government, which makes the life of its citizens more valuable. The education system also needs to be changed for emergency vcare and which is acceptable world wide . The ambulance code is also needed in the country with accountability fo ambulance drivers and owners . Aabove all a white paper needs to be brought our on availability of trauma services on highways “ said Dr Kumar
“MoRTH as part of its effort to improve trauma service on National Highways has provided an ambulance, first aid service an one crane on every toll plazas .Provisions of this is also in the concessionaire agreement to provide these provisions but National Highways are only about Two per cent of the total road network in the country. Recent survey at various highways has found inadequate trauma care services especially in rural areas ” said Dr Amit Gupta,Professor at JPN-AIIMS Trauma centre while speaking at the webinar .
“It is important to infuse knowledge of road safety and first aid among public and also in road side facilities such as dhabas and among truck drivers, who are most often the first to reach accident sites. The Government on its part provides free hospital care to accident victims but more needs to be done ,” said Dr Subodh Kumar, Professor at AIIMS , Delhi .
“Most of road accident deaths are avoidable with preventable measures including better trauma services , giving way to ambulances and availability of ambulances during golden hour . About 30 per cent road accident victims die after being discharged from hospitals, this needs to be taken care by rehabilitating them ” Dr Arun Mohan, Eminent Lawyer o Supreme court.
“The increase in road accidents comes amid growing concerns that significant proportions of victims of road accidents in the country do not receive timely and appropriate medical care and do not even have ambulances for transport to hospitals. Given the shortages of ambulances, trained staff, infrastructure, systems and processes for providing emergency response services within the golden hour, the provision of first aid and trauma care to accident victims is often unduly delayed. The results of these delays reflect in higher traffic accident fatality rates, especially in low-income countries. These fatality rates can be reduced if appropriate and prompt first aid and trauma care is provided at the accident site itself” said Mr k .K Kapila, President Emeritus, International Road Federation (IRF) speaking at the webinar .
“Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) should include an estimated fund for training of bystanders , truck and bus drivers for First Aid and Trauma care as they are the first ones to witness the road accident .Any Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) or Hybrid project under MoRTH or NHAi as part of the Concession Agreement should include that the Concessionaire will train Bystanders along the road stretches under their project” he added.