Too much blood split on roads but few trauma care centres

Around 800-900 deaths due to road crashes have been reported per year in the region and most of the accidents occur on the National Highways, including the NH-16 and others

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  17 Oct 2021 7:11 AM GMT
Too much blood split on roads but few trauma care centres

Visakhapatnam/ Vizianagaram/ Srikakulam: Though fatal and non-fatal road accidents have been increasing in north Andhra Pradesh comprising Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts for the past few years, the region lacks sufficient trauma care centres (TCC) along National Highways to provide immediate medical care to the victims.

Around 800-900 deaths due to road crashes have been reported per year in the region and most of the accidents occur on the National Highways, including the NH-16 and others. According to the official data, a total of 5,174 persons were killed in road accidents in AP in 2020 while it was 7,984 (in 2019), 7,556 (in 2018), 8,060 (in 2017) and 8,541 (in 2016).

In the absence of emergency TCCs and ambulances on the NHs and state highways in the region, the deaths due to the accidents haven't decreased. Over 3,700 persons suffered injuries in road accidents in Vizag in the past three years

Principal of Andhra Medical College (AMC), Vizag, Dr P.V. Sudhakar said that there is an urgent need to increase the number of TCCs and maintain them properly through an understanding between the Union and state government by allocating sufficient funds.

There was a proposal to set up a trauma care unit for every 25 km along the NH-16 stretch and at least one unit at every 40 km on other stretches in the region. Ironically, Vizag has only one trauma care unit which is at the King George Hospital (KGH). The severity of road accidents in AP is over 36 persons killed per 100 road accidents. Data shows that Vizag city roads claimed 259 lives in 2020, 326 lives in 2019 and 325 in 2018.

District medical and health officer (DMHO), Vizag, P.S. Suryanarayana said that TCCs are equipped to handle critical accidents cases and provide specialized medical services and resources to patients suffering from traumatic injuries to reduce death or permanent disability to injured persons. In the recent road safety meeting, we have proposed to set up at least four to five centres in the Vizag district to save the lives of the accident victims. If all goes as per plan, Vizag district will get some TCCs, he added.

In the Srikakulam district, the RIMS-Hospital is the only ray of hope for the accident victims. There is not a single TCC in the Vizianagaram district, which is centrally located in the region and connects Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Ironically, most of the victims in the road accidents here were referred to KGH in Vizag city, said DSP (Traffic) Vizianagaram, L. Mohan Rao.

There is no coordination between various agencies such as NHAI, Medical and Health, Police, Road Transport and few others in setting up the TCCs and provide necessary manpower (specialist physicians, neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists, radiologists and paramedics) in spite of the rising road accidents on national and state highways in the state. Drivers not using standard equipment is also a reason for the increase in accidents. Some motorists prefer non-ISI head guards for being cheap but which don't contribute to any safety.

The 'Golden Hour', the first hour after the trauma when instant and proper first aid should be given to accident victims increases the chance of survival manifold and reduce the severity of injuries. Apart from North Andhra Pradesh, there is a need to set up TCCs in parts of East Godavari as sometimes victims from East Godavari are shifted to Vizag for better medical care, the police and medical fraternity said.


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