Health dept will train first responders to save lives in accident cases

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A mock drill of training for trauma responders held at Bengaluru cluster.

BENGALURU: With the increasing number of accidents in the state, hundreds of people losing their lives without getting treatment in the golden hour. Saving lives has become a major challenge whenever there is a road accident.

It is estimated that around 1,500 people out of every 4,000 accident victims lose their lives every year in road accidents, and the aim is to reduce the number of deaths. Hence, the government has planned to train trauma care responders in handling injured people in case of an accident.

Towards this end, the Department of Health and Family Welfare is planning to launch RASTHA (Rapid response, Assessment, Stabilisation and Safe Transport in Highway Accidents) in association with RGUHS- JeevaRaksha Trust across the state and train trauma responders in every cluster.

Health Commissioner Commissioner Randeep D said, “This is the first ever such plan in the nation. The department has identified dangerous roads and accident spots to reduce road accidents. About 400 accident spots (places where the highest number of accidents were reported in last five year) and 25 black spots have been identified across the state. The department also plan to train locals free of cost as ‘life saviours’ on how to save injured people. The trained volunteers will be ready in three months and we will open accident control clusters in 26 places along the highways across the state. The clusters will be activated in phases”.

“In 80 per cent of the accident cases, a critically injured person dies before reaching a hospital. A first responder should be available in a 3-km radius or local residents should be trained. We cannot prevent accidents. The ultimate intention is saving lives of the injured in Golden Hour and ensuring they get treatment in time”, Randeep said.

“We are plan to train the staff at all the hospitals where emergency facilities are available and will coordinate with the 108 ambulance service, private hospitals, first responders and traffic police”, he added.

“In the Bengaluru cluster, there were 60 representatives from hospitals and totally 160 people are available as first responders. We plan to give training to around 2,500 volunteers across the state. We have empanelled more than 50 hospitals as on today. If there is any tertiary care centre near a cluster, it should be empanelled with the Health Department. Non-empanelled hospitals which come under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka Scheme (ABRK) should also join the trauma care plan and the department will issue notices under the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) Act. We are not asking free treatment at private hospital, but to give emergency treatment free of cost,” Randeep said. The government is committed to giving financial aid too, if necessary, he added.

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