Kashmir Indepth

Lack of air ambulance in Kashmir costing lives: DAK

Srinagar, Apr 19 : Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday expressed pressing concern over lack of air ambulance service in Kashmir valley because of which precious lives are lost.

“Non-availability of air ambulance is costing lives of trauma and emergency patients,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué.

“Majority of these patients die because they are unable to reach hospitals within the golden hour which is crucial for their survival,” he said.

“Time is the essence when it comes to trauma and emergency patients and sooner they receive treatment, the better the chances of survival,” he added.

Dr Nisar said the only way to reach hospitals in Kashmir is road ambulance and, in this day and age, that does not meet the requirements of golden hour.

“Air transport saves lives because patients get to hospital faster when they travel by air,” he said.

“Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine found increased rate of survival among those trauma patients who were rescued by chopper than those transported by ground ambulance, Dr Nisar said adding that “a study by Biewener et al in 2004 showed a 50% reduction in the mortality rate when patients were transported to a trauma center by a helicopter.”

Dr Nisar said the geographic and mountainous terrain of Kashmir Valley renders air transport a far more effective option than regular road transport.

“Air ambulance service is the need of the hour in the valley, giving its topography where various areas remain cut-off for most part of the winter due to heavy snowfall and rains,” he said.

“In absence of critical care ambulance, patients who need to be airlifted from Srinagar to outside hospitals for treatment have to shell out huge sums to arrange such a transportation from outside the state, an option which only a few can afford,” said Dr Nisar.

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