BHUBANESWAR: A five-year-old boy died after the ambulance in which he was being rushed from Capital Hospital to a private hospital got stuck in traffic here on Tuesday, delaying emergency medical attention. The ambulance took about an hour and twenty minutes to travel a 13-km stretch which proved fatal for the boy.
Doctors referred the child to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after his health deteriorated. However, the family decided to shift him to a private hospital within the city to save time. The ambulance, however, failed to reach the hospital in Patia on time due to a traffic jam at various junctions on Jaydev Vihar-Nandankanan road.
"Doctors told us that his life could have been saved had we reached the hospital 30 minutes early," said Nirod, the child's father. "Had there been a dedicated passage for ambulances, the life of my son would have been saved," he said.
While the incident has raised questions about a dedicated corridor for ambulances, the matter has also put in focus the indifference of commuters who do not allow passage to ambulances carrying critical patients.
While Capital Hospital authorities couldn't be reached for comment, Commissionerate Traffic ACP Swastik Panda said, "The matter is being inquired and CCTV footage is being examined. As per SOP, ambulances are provided passage on priority," he said.
Though the state government in 2015 decided to design a green corridor within the city for hassle-free movement of ambulances as well as other vehicles providing emergency services, the plan is yet to see the light of day.
Allegations of medical negligence were also levelled by the victim's father. Nirod questioned the treatment provided to his son at Capital Hospital. "The person who prescribed saline and injection to my son when his condition deteriorated in the morning was not a doctor," he alleged.