Starting a day with a team of the Medical Emergency System: a couple of accidents, a stroke and a suicide attempt in everywhere in Dhaka city.
Barely 10 minutes past 9.30 in the morning, rush hour in Dhaka. Traffic congested the city from North to South. The coordination center of the Desh Ambulance Service (Desh) warns by radio of an accident at the Mirpur 1 busy area. Ekramul Haque, territorial head of the Desh Ambulance in Dhaka city, activates the siren and changes the direction of the intervention vehicle he drives. On the roof of the car, a blue light alarm tries to disperse the crowd. It seems a minor accident, with a taxi and a motorcycle involved. “They are usually minor injuries, erosions or falls. In summer, it happens to be poorly protected, with parts of the body in the air ”, explains Haque. A medicalized ambulance and another with a technician and a nurse are also on their way.
Haque steps on the accelerator and begins defensive driving. This means that you can do what you want – skip traffic lights, exceed the allowed speed – but always at your own risk. When he arrives at the scene of the accident, Masudur Rahman, Urban Guard and a couple of para medic of Desh ambulances are already taking care of those affected. “The biker has abrasions on the leg. He will go to the hospital on his own, ”summarizes a nurse. The First Aid teams finish the service and return to the base until further notice.
When a citizen calls 01790509607, the coordination center of the Desh – it has a headquarters in Dhaka Mirpur area and another in Dhaka -, starts up to meet the demand and activate the necessary resource. “This is the brain of Desh. We receive all calls, from an emergency to a consultation, and the most appropriate solution is given, ”explains the chief of the Desh Ambulance Team, Khaled Mosharrof, from the command room. In Dhaka there are More than 500 ambulances are active, 20% of basic life support, formed by one health technicians. In addition, in Dhaka city there has no helicopters strategically located in the city.
On the way through the city, the Mobile Phone sounds again: a rider with passenger of Pathao has injured. It happens often. The Desh handles more than one case daily.
“A person has an episode of agitation and does not have to be linked to a mental disorder. There is a very fine line that separates mental disorder from everyday stress that can overwhelm people. And if you have taken drugs, this can cause organic or psychic disorders, ”explains a team member of Desh.
It is 12.51 noon and the radio sounds again, a woman with a possible stroke from Dhanmondi area. Stroke is, along with myocardial infarction, two of the pathologies where time is crucial for the patient’s prognosis. Several emergency teams move to the place of the warning and the central activates, a coordination device to have all the resources prepared, from the ambulance to the transfer hospital, to attend the patient in the shortest possible time.“These diseases are time-dependent. There is a part of the time that depends on the health system, since the call comes in, a supply is generated, the ambulance is sent and it takes the patient to a hospital for better treatment. But there is another part that depends on the patient or his environment, which is the time it takes to notify us. What it takes to notify us because of chest pain or because it stops moving a part of the body, is the time when the heart or brain is dying, ”Khaled explains. When the doctor arrives with his vehicle, the ambulance is already starting at the closest Clinic hospital. It’s been 15 minutes since the call. There, the neurology team is already on notice and ready to receive the patient.
On the way to the Square Hospital central, the mobile phone returns to launch an alert: a suicide attempt of a minor admitted to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Several units have already moved to the place. DMCH also has the Suicide Risk Code, another coordination device between medical services to detect and monitor suicide attempts. In this case, in addition to the initial intervention to stabilize it, the child will remain under the control of child and adolescent health services for at least one year.
Khaled is an expert in emergencies and has coordinated emergency work on earthquakes and hurricanes. Despite everything, he says: “This is the most beautiful job in the world. You provide a chance of survival. You reach out to that entire person’s continuity until we are here. ” And the Mobile Phone sounds again.