THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Believe it or not, as many as 35 women in Thiruvananthapuram had their delivery on board the ‘108’ ambulance. Within one-and-a-half years, the 108 ambulance service, run by the government under the Kerala Emergency Medical Services Project (KEMP), has helped 33,498 lives.
The exemplary service of 108 shows that extension of this service to the entire State is a necessity.
All the 25 ambulances positioned at various places in the district have been active since May 2010. The service was not hit even when employees went on a strike on September 6, last year. It roped in paid service and attended to around 25 cases.
Among the cases, accidents top the list -11,442. The 108 service has so far saved the lives of 4,387 cardiac patients. It gave medical aid to 3,275 unconscious people and 2,788 patients having respiratory problems. The service helped during emergency 1,170 pregnancy cases. Of these, 35 women delivered on the way to hospital.
The service intervened in emergencies such as 612 assault cases, 661 cases of abnormal blood pressure, 189 burns cases, 230 cancer cases, 458 diabetic cases, 765 fever cases, 792 cases of poisoning, 682 stroke cases and 6,071 other cases.
The call centre of the 108 service operating from the Tejaswini building in Technopark has received as many as 33,522 calls since May last year. Another 38,009 calls were cancelled after the service was sought. “This may be due to several reasons. It might be a wrong call or in some cases the caller will get some other vehicle,” said Hari Kumar, operations manager of 108 service.
Even after providing exemplary service, it is not free of nuisances. “We get at least 25 fake calls per month. Mostly, we tend to note down the numbers and try not to encourage them. Some numbers are transferred to the Police Cyber Cell. Recently, the ambulance had to travel till Vithura. Only after reaching the place did we realise that it was a fake call,” said Hari.
Back in October last year, a 108 ambulance caught fire at Kallara. Two persons, who were accompanying the patient, were killed in the incident. Following this, there is a restriction on the entry of more than two persons into the ambulance for accompanying the patient.