Within a month of its launch, the emergency centre set up at the Chromepet Government Hospital on August 5 has received over 100 cases. “In the first month alone, we received about 102 cases and this is a significant number for us,” said Prabhudoss, Regional Manager, GVK EMRI. The cases included accidents, suicide attempts, victims of physical assault, people with breathing problems and other medical emergencies.
At the centre in Chromepet, officials said they get patients from Guindy to Guduvanchery in Kancheepuram district before they are shifted to either Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital or Government Royapettah Hospital.
To save more lives by cutting down on the travel time in ambulances, the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project along with Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI), decided to launch Emergency Care Centres in and around the city.
These centres to be started first time in the country in TN, will act as transit points where emergency first aids will be offered before the patient is shifted to hospital.
Officials said, the TNHSP and EMRI which run the 108 ambulance service, will have centres each in Padianallur and Mahabalipuram. While the Padianallur centre which is likely to come up at a primary health centre will cater to emergencies in the suburb of the northern part of the city, the one to be set up inside a government hospital in Mahabalipuram will attend to cases in the Southern suburb of the city, especially the accident cases reported on East Coast Road.
The centre at Chromepet right now, has three beds with advanced EMT facilities and a doctor, two advanced emergency medical technician members and three emergency medical technician members working round the clock in three shifts. It will follow the medical services designed by Stanford University, USA that had also collaborated with EMRI for its 108 ambulance service facility.
The 108 ambulance will move the patient from the spot to the nearby emergency care centre where he will be treated within the golden hour period. Once the first aid is given, the patient will be shifted to the hospital of their choice in another 108 ambulance that is parked in each of these centres.
“They will be given all emergency treatment to stabilise and make them better than hospital ready,” said another EMRI official. “It takes about 90 minutes for the ambulance to reach GGH or GRH from Gummidipoondi. With a centre at Padianallur, the patient can get first aid and then can be shifted to a hospital. These are upgraded emergency care centres and not a clinic,” the official added.
With plans to expand the fleet of ambulances, more centres are likely to come up in state and national highways across the state, officials said.