COIMBATORE: The smart thinking of an 108 ambulance crew saved a 27-year-old woman who went into labour on board the ambulance and her newborn on Monday.
Upon receiving a call at 6 am about the woman M Deepa of Melur in Kandhavayal near Mettupalayam having labour pain, the crew, including four pilots and three emergency medical technicians (EMT), rushed to the village in an ambulance.
However, the Lingapuram bridge was submerged as the river was flooded. M Nandhagopal, one of the pilots, said, "We then took a detour through a forest route to reach Melur. Then we took the woman on the ambulance and started for Sirumugai primary health centre (PHC) un Sirumugai. However, she went into labour on the way and gave birth to a male baby in the ambulance."
As the crew felt it would be unsafe for the newborn to travel on the uneven forest road, one team took the baby to the PHC by crossing the river on a coracle.
Ajith K, an EMT, said, "There was a need to rush the baby to the health centre. So, he was taken on a coracle across the river, while the mother was transported in the ambulance through the forest area. Once doctors at the PHC removed the baby's umbilical cord, the newborn was shifted to Government Mettupalayam Hospital for treatment."
The mother too was later taken to the Mettupalayam hospital after she received first aid at the Sirumugai PHC. Melur villagers praised the ambulance crew, including Sugumaran S, Arunkumar R, Suresh K and EMTs Vijay R and Mary S for their timely effort to save the mother and the baby.