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Emergency services crucial in saving lives

Efficient ambulance services are an important aspect of any modern and advanced society as the chances of a person getting sick suddenly are also high due to work and life pressures

Heart attacks are a primary cause of human deaths these days, and according to health experts, a rapid response during an emergency can save the lives of our dear and close ones.

Taking this into account, the Civil Defence and Ambulance Authority (CDAA) in the Sultanate of Oman recently launched the home ambulance service in governorates to provide advanced emergency medical care to citizens, residents, and visitors.

For now, home ambulance service is available in the governorates of Muscat, South Al Sharqiyah, North Al Sharqiyah, North Al Batinah, Al Wusta, Al Dhahirah, Al Dakhiliyah, Al Buraimi, and Musandam. The service is expected to be expanded to the rest of the governorates in the future.

These services are in addition to an ambulance on call provided by various hospitals in the country.

Efficient ambulance services are an important aspect of any modern and advanced society as the chances of a person getting sick suddenly are also high due to work and life pressures.

The capital Muscat accounted for 54 per cent of the ambulance services (6,083) in 2021, which saw an increase from 5, 145 in 2020 and 5,641 in 2019.

It may also be noted that of the total 11,352 ambulance services availed in 2021, 6,320 were for trauma-related cases (accidents), and 5,032 were for medical purposes.

A source in the Royal Oman Police told the Observer that they have been able to save lives, especially accident victims, due to professional services offered by ambulance and the medical staff.

“With incidents such as heart strokes increasing daily, the role of ambulances and their operators have increased like never before.”

According to health experts, the primary role of all ambulance services is emergency pre-hospital medical care, although they generally provide both emergency response and patient transfer on behalf of the health sector.

The ambulance service is ideally placed to be part of the first line in offering health care and can significantly contribute to ‘treat and transfer’ or ‘treat and leave’ programmes.

Ambulance services can be more efficient if they are seen as a public service rather than profit-driven.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued a few guidelines for ambulance services of private operators or even hospitals.

All ambulance vehicles must have an individual maintenance log as well as a daily checklist of safety issues to be checked. These records must be kept on-site for at least two years.

There must be a suitable area with recharge points, etc., for safe storage and daily maintenance checks of all vehicles.

All drugs and medications must always be stored securely, either in the vehicle or at the base.

Each patient transported must have an individual record showing referral information, care provided during transport, issues or events during transfer, and clear documentation from the accepting authority relating to the “handing over” of the patient.

All vehicles must have a navigation system allowing them to find any necessary address within the geographic area they will serve, depending on the service they will provide.

Providers must carry adequate insurance coverage for staff and patients, covering not only professional indemnity for clinical errors but also coverage in the event of accident or injury.


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