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First In India: Bike Ambulances That Can Reach The Patient In Just 10 Minutes

Karnataka has just launched bike ambulances which will provide crucial medical support to the patient in need till the four wheeler ambulance arrives. The service will be very useful in congested areas with heavy traffic, where a four-wheeler is unable to reach on time.

We often see an ambulance stuck in traffic, trying to move past the huge trail of vehicles in front of it and reach the hospital on time. During that golden hour, when every single second counts, traffic wastes a lot of time, sometimes even leading to loss of life.

Now, if you happen to be in Bengaluru, you  might witness two-wheelers zipping through the traffic carrying medical supplies to reach the needy patients and administer crucial emergency care until the four wheeler ambulance arrives.

Karnataka launched the much-awaited two-wheeler ambulance service on Wednesday, 15th April 2015, and became the first state to do so.

30 such bikes were flagged off on Wednesday.
30 bike ambulances were flagged off on Wednesday.

The service was launched to reach patients and victims stuck in congested areas of the city, where a four-wheeler finds it difficult to navigate, especially during road accidents.

The State Health Minister U.T. Khader launched 30 Avenger 220CC bike ambulances in the city and termed this as the “platinum 10 minutes” trauma care initiative. The bikes were flagged off on Wednesday by CM Siddaramaiah.

Each bike ambulance costs Rs. 2 lakhs and is equipped with 40 emergency care medical items such as stethoscope, pulse oxymeter, bandages and IV normal saline apart from 53 basic drugs.

CM Siddaramaiah at the launch of the bike.
CM Siddaramaiah at the launch of the bike.

The project will be managed by GVK-EMRI, the organisation that is running the 108 ‘Arogya Kavacha’ ambulance service. Currently there are 711 ‘Arogya Kavacha’ 108 Ambulances running in the city.

“In metropolitan cities, it is not a viable option to have a separate path designed for ambulances. Thus, we decided to have bike ambulances to attend to emergency cases. Nearly 50-per cent of the accident cases ought to be treated on the spot. About 10-15 per cent need early intervention and those will be attended on priority basis,” Khader told The Mangalorean.

The bike ambulance’s driver will be a trained paramedic with a driving license. Each paramedic will reach the site within 10 minutes and provide basic first aid to the victim till the four-wheeler ambulance arrives. Over 40 paramedics have been trained in driving these ambulances.

The bike ambulance will be of great help in emergency road accident cases.
The bike ambulance will be of great help in emergency road accident cases.

“As soon as the control room gets information about any accident, information about the traffic situation on that route will be analyzed through GPS. If the traffic is heavy or if it is found that it is out of reach for 108 vehicles, bike ambulances will be dispatched. Once first aid is provided, if the injured person is in a condition that he can undertake motor bike travel, he would be taken to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, he would be shifted to the hospital through either a 108 ambulance or another vehicle,” Khader added.

While 21 of these ambulances will be strategically placed at various locations of Bengaluru, the rest nine will be distributed to serve the districts of Mysore, Mangaluru, Kalaburgi, Belagavi, Hubballi-Dharwad, Davangere, Tumkuru, Vijayapura and Shivamogga.

After the successful launch of the bike ambulances, the state is planning to introduce air ambulances by the end of this year. Khader also mentioned that two companies have showed interest in the project of air ambulances, so we do hope this will be a reality, and an affordable one at that, soon.

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