KARACHI: Faisal Edhi plans on improving the services of Edhi Foundation's ambulance service by keeping trained paramedics on duty in ambulances to save lives of patients in critical conditions.
"We are driving this welfare trust towards professionalism," said Faisal, the son of late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi. Speaking to The Express Tribune, he said the ambulance service with international standards will soon be started to provide aid to critical patients being transported to hospitals.
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"The current fleet of 1,800 ambulances was established to cater to normal patients in small vehicles. However, the recent wave of bomb blasts and natural calamities have created a dire need to start a well-equipped ambulance services for patients in critical conditions," he said.
Faisal believes that lives of patients can be saved if they are dealt with by a professional because the first hour is considered a golden hour for a critical patient. Airway, breathing and circulation of patients will be monitored with the help of the paramedic on duty in the ambulance, Faisal said, adding that this will help in saving their lives.
He maintained that currently 70 to 80 of their ambulance drivers are trained but they are not highly trained. They can only give basic first aid in the ambulances in absences of paramedic staff, Faisal said. "The improved services will facilitate patients by getting first aid from paramedics," he added.
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According to Faisal, Edhi Foundation is starting Bilqees Edhi Nursing and Paramedics' School in Moosa Lane, Lyari, within a few months. Trained paramedics from the school will be put on duty in the ambulances to provide pre-hospital care to patients during their transportation to the hospitals.
Faisal said London Ambulance Service has 800 equipped ambulances to cater to the population of London, which is only eight to nine million. Whereas, in Pakistan there are only 1,800 ambulances of Edhi, besides other ambulance services, to cater 200 million people of Pakistan.
"Initially, at least 50 ambulances will be equipped on international standards within three to six months in Karachi. Afterwards it will be expanded across the country," he claimed. "We will also be able to utilise the new services during natural calamities and can also use services of best nurses and paramedics on international rescue missions abroad."