Helping patients survive heart attacks and other medical emergencies

Please spend a few minutes to view the video

In a case shown in the video, a patient in India, who had suffered a heart attack, died because the ambulance reached him very late.

The ambulance reached late because:
1. A private vehicle was parked in the hospital in such a manner that the ambulance was blocked.
2. On the road from the hospital to the patient, many drivers did not give way to the ambulance.

The video asks a pertinent question: “Who is responsible for his death? The law, the police or us?”

The video also shows how vehicle drivers in an unidentified foreign country give ‘Right of way’ to ambulances.

In the video, the driver of the ambulance in India says that, if people in India give ‘Right of way’ to ambulances, many more patients suffering from a heart attack or a life threatening injury can be saved. He says that many people in India do not give ‘Right of way’ to ambulances because they don’t know the value of somebody else’s life. He adds that these people will realize the value of life only when they or their dear ones are the dying patient in the ambulance.

The video states that we must change ourselves. Whenever a person driving a vehicle hears the siren of an ambulance or any other emergency vehicle, (s)he should give ‘Right of way’ to the ambulance or emergency vehicle by moving the vehicle to the left and bringing it to a complete stop.

I have myself seen how ambulances get held up in traffic because other vehicles do not give them ‘Right of way’. However, I do not completely agree with the view, expressed by the ambulance driver, that this is only because people in India don’t know the value of somebody else’s life. I believe that:

1. In general, in India, human life is not given the importance it deserves. Most people realize the value of human life only after they or one of their dear ones face a life-threatening situation.

2. People do not realize that the chance of survival of a person suffering a heart attack or a life-threatening injury reduces drastically by the minute, if not by the second.

3. Most vehicle drivers in India do not know exactly how they should respond when they hear the siren of an ambulance or any other emergency vehicle.

4. Often, in dense traffic during peak hours in big cities, the siren of an ambulance is not loud enough. It is heard only when the ambulance is only a few vehicles behind. This gives vehicle drivers less time to react.

To ensure that ambulances reach patients in the shortest possible time, I suggest:

a. Each one of us must give every human life the importance it deserves. The government and the media have an important role here. Normally, an accident or event that results in a few dozen deaths is treated as a tragedy. Henceforth, even if only one life is lost in an accident or event, it should be treated as a tragedy.

b. People should be made aware of the extreme importance of an ambulance reaching a person suffering a heart attack or a life-threatening injury in time.

c. It should be mandatory for hospitals to have proper parking space with easy access for all ambulances. Other vehicles should not be allowed to be parked in any manner that blocks the ambulance.

d. Vehicle drivers should be instructed how to give ‘Right of way’ to an ambulance or any other emergency vehicle as soon as the siren is heard.

e. Ambulances should have loud sirens that are easily audible above the noise of dense traffic during peak hours.

Do you have any other suggestions?