Taking lessons from the Chennai traffic police, where a medical team transported a heart from Government General Hospital to Fortis Malar Hospitals in Adyar, about 12 km away, in less than 14 minutes, the Mumbai traffic police have decided to design a green corridor for ambulances in the city within this fortnight.
This would mean that when an ambulance is passing through any stretch in the city, the road will be cleared of vehicular traffic to ensure quick medical aid is provided to the patient at the earliest.
Welcoming the move, Dr Gustad Davar, heading the Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Committee, said, “It is said that the faster an organ is transported for transplantation, the better it is. If the traffic police are planning such a move, organs can be used in a much healthier condition.”
According to the traffic police officers, they found in a recent study they had conducted that many drivers lack road discipline and do not let ambulances pass. To deal with the problem, the traffic police plan a special awareness campaign with help from along with a non-governmental organization to educate the drivers.
“Many times, we see an ambulance stuck in traffic since the constable managing the traffic does not come to know about it,” said B K Upadhyay, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic).
Upadhyay said that after Ganpati bandobast, they would focus on creating a green corridor for the emergency services.
“Once an ambulance is on the road, all the driver would have to do is to make a phone call to the traffic police control room and inform about the route it would be taking. This information would be conveyed to the constables across the route through the wireless system. The constables would then clear out the traffic on the lane dedicated to the ambulance and give it a clear passage,” Upadhyay said.
While the traffic police will train constables for the implementation of a green corridor, Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, chief operating officer at Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services which operates the 108 ambulance service, said a holistic approach by the civic body, hospitals, traffic police and civilians was needed to make such a plan feasible.
“We have observed that generally people do want to give way to ambulances. But in a congested city like Mumbai, there is no space to move aside. On smaller roads, the entire stretches are clogged and it becomes difficult for ambulances to reach the spot on time,” Shelke said.
He added that last month, a campaign called “make way for the ambulance” was organised in the city for sensitizing people.
According to experts, most of the organs, such as kidney and liver, must be transported to their destination within fours hours, and in less than four hours in case of heart or lung. Usually, the upper limit for an organ, barring heart and lung, is 24 hours before it must be transplanted. Use of different kinds of solvents for organ preservation also helps in extending the duration.
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