Think Tank

How Fast Should An Ambulance Be To Save A Life

How Fast Should An Ambulance Be To Save A Life

How Fast Should An Ambulance Be To Save A Life

Every time we see an ambulance stuck in traffic, some of us feel pity and secretly say a prayer for the one whose life is in danger, while some of us choose to be indifferent. But all of us would agree that an ambulance is expected to be really fast in reaching its destination. Have you ever thought how fast an ambulance should be in order to save a life?

Let’s try and understand what happens when an ambulance is called for. There are various incidents that can trigger the need for an ambulance, accidents being a major one. The others include heart attacks, stroke, pregnancy, surgery complications, etc.

Accidents fall under trauma management and need immediate medical attention. The most important task during an accident is to stop bleeding. Because the more the blood loss, the more the damage to the victim’s body. While a few ambulances (like 108) have a first-aid support system or an accompanying paramedic who can help stop bleeding, many ambulances don’t have such support.

Once an accident victim reaches the hospital, a CT scan is done to reveal any internal bleeding or fractures. Only after the CT scan is done, the actual treatment begins. Similarly, in the case of heart attacks or chest pain, an ECG is required to understand the exact nature of the problem, while in the case of a stroke, an MRI scan is required.

Now, let’s suppose that an ambulance is called for urgently in an emergency situation. Based on the location and its proximity to the nearest hospital, it would take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours for the ambulance to reach the patient. Meanwhile, if the patient is taken to the nearest hospital but, unfortunately, the hospital doesn’t have a CT scan/ECG/MRI facility, the patient would have to be shifted to another hospital with adequate facilities. This would further delay the treatment.

Sometimes, it happens that an ambulance is called for quite late even in an emergency, especially in the case of heart attacks and stroke. When a person is unresponsive for more than 5 to 10 minutes, he/she should immediately be rushed to a hospital.

To sum up, most patients end up reaching a hospital approximately after 3-4 hours of an emergency. But experts say that for quick recovery, a patient should reach the hospital within the first hour of the emergency. The first one hour after an emergency is extremely crucial for a patient’s life because it presents the maximum opportunity to diagnose and treat the problem.

If a patient is taken to a hospital after one hour of an accident or medical emergency, the chances of recovery are estimated to fall down by almost 60%.

Since a minimum of half hour has already lapsed by the time an ambulance reaches the patient, the ambulance has to be as fast as possible to take the patient to the hospital within the next half hour. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen many times due to traffic congestion and other problems. While these problems can’t be solved instantaneously, we could at least inculcate a culture to give way to an ambulance when we hear a siren.

At CARE Hospitals, we sincerely urge every citizen to proactively help ambulances move quickly and educate others to do the same by spreading awareness. It is reported that thousands of people lose their lives due to ambulance delays. By giving way to an ambulance, you might give a new lease of life to someone!

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