Over 450 victims of road accidents die on the city streets, while a large number die from trauma and lack of medical care. And the casualty count rises because ambulance staff and paramedics are not trained in basic life-saving techniques.
Giving the city’s emergency medical services a shot in the arm, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), an alliance of nearly 30,000 non-resident Indian doctors practising in the US, and the Critical Care Society of India (CCSI) have banded together to train ambulance drivers and other paramedic staff. On top of the training agenda is tips on attending to accident victims and heart patients.
The first of a series of workshops was held recently at Ruby General Hospital. The hospital staff, along with CCSI personnel, trained over 60 ambulance drivers and other paramedics on cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
“The first four minutes after a serious accident or heart attack is considered a golden period when a person can respond to CPR. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the population here is aware of this simple life-saving technique.” said Sourav Koley, secretary, CCSI.
Addressing the meet, health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra said such training was essential in the wake of the rising number of deaths due to accidents in the city. “The government will provide support to private organisations in their work,” Mishra added.
AAPI representative Bharati Ghosh said the association would help the CCSI set up a state-of-the-art paramedics training centre in Calcutta. The government has also started a six-month course for paramedics, director of medical education C.R. Maity said.