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Breakdown of 108 ambulance caused death of accident victim while battling for life but EMRI refutes the allegations

In yet another accident, a youth, who suffered critical injuries in an accident on the Chorla ghat Goa, on Monday, died after a 108 ambulance, which was supposed to shift him to the hospital for further medical treatment, broke down at the accident site. The deceased has been identified as Amol Patil, aged 25 and a resident of Narayan Nagar in Honda-Goa. Patil was struggling for life till another ambulance reached to him. Read the full report here.

According to a source, the accident involving Patil occurred around 11.30 am while Patil was proceeding towards Belagavi on his motorcycle. While riding his bike along the Chorla ghat section, Patil suddenly dashed against an oncoming truck bearing registration number GA-04-T-3583 near Zamblikade area. With the impact of the collision, Patil was flung on the roadside, said police.

On seeing Patil lie by the roadside, some passersby called 108 ambulances. As the ambulance reached the accident site, people who had gathered there shifted Patil into it. However, the ambulance suffered an engine breakdown due to which Patil had to struggle for life till another ambulance could reach him.

“I was told by my official that an ambulance was called but they could not shift Patil immediately for further medical attention and had to wait until another ambulance could arrive at the accident spot. When the second ambulance reached the spot, Patil, however, had breathed his last,” said police inspector Pednekar, who further said that police later informed a hearse van to shift the deceased to the Goa Medical College Hospital at Bambolim.

An offense against truck driver Prasad Naik will be registered after conducting an inquiry into the incident, police said. “The patient would have survived if oxygen was provided properly and the vehicle was in proper condition,” said an elderly man, who was present at the accident site.

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According to the information, GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), which runs the 108 ambulance services in Goa, has acknowledged that the deceased Amol Patil could not be provided oxygen support as the ambulance could not operate. However, the EMRI has refuted the allegations that the deceased died due to the breakdown of the ambulance. Public relations in-charge of GVK EMRI Pratishtha Mudras, citing their records, said that after the 108 ambulance had arrived, the injured breathed only for about 3-4 minutes before succumbing to his injuries.

When questioned whether respiration support was provided through the oxygen mask and cylinder, she said that it was not provided. “Since the ambulance engine did not start, oxygen could not be provided to the injured,” she admitted.

Despite the fact that the oxygen supply could not be provided, she refuted the allegations that the injured succumbed due to the ambulance breakdown. She said, “We completely deny the allegations that the patient died due to the breakdown of the ambulance. He died due to the multiple injuries he had suffered from the accident.”

Supporting the argument, she further said that the injured was bleeding profusely and could have had multiple internal injuries. “Even if the ambulance was working, the chances of the injured surviving would have been very little because of the severe injuries suffered by the injured,” she added.

Mudras further said that the staff on duty is one of the most experienced staff that EMRI has in its employment and the emergency medical technician (EMT) provided all the possible first aid to the injured no sooner she was at the accident site. “Our staff covered the distance of about 14 kilometers from station to the accident site in about 15 minutes and no sooner they arrived at the spot, the injured was provided all the possible first aid after shifting the patient from the road into the ambulance,” she said. However, the EMT was not able to provide the oxygen supply as the ambulance broke down and the apparatus could not become functional.

Incidentally, driver of the truck involved in the accident Prasad Naik is the union leader of the 108 Ambulance Services Employees Union, which has been at loggerheads with the management for poor services to the employees as well as negligence in the maintenance of the 108 ambulances.

He said, “When I called for the 108 ambulance, I requested that two ambulances be sent as I knew the condition of the ambulances in this region is very bad. Despite that, only one was sent and the most unfortunate incident happened. The ambulance vehicles are poorly maintained by the management.”

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