Srinagar: First of its kind in the State, the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) is starting a First Responder Course (FRC) under the initiative ‘Skill for life, Save a life’ launched by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,(MoHFW) Government of India (GoI) in collaboration with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Faculty.
The move is aimed at preparing citizens to be the initial responders in terms of first aid and initial care in case of an emergency so as to help reduce the number of fatalities.
The initiative can be seen in two different ways, one is to take a step in terms of saving lives and second to buy time for such patients to reach to the tertiary care hospitals, as majority of the hospitals are lacking emergency trauma units in peripheries.
“First Responder Course has been introduced by the Union Health Ministry to empower every citizen to be the first person to provide pre hospital care in terms of first aid and initial care in case of an emergency,” DHSK said in a statement.
The course will be launched next month and the trainings, Directorate said, will be imparted by the National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW) certified FRC Instructors of the Directorate who have been trained by AIIMS Faculty previously.
Dr.Saleem ur Rehman, Director Health Services, Kashmir, while taking about FRC said that the first few minutes are the most important for any trauma patient and the initial care he or she receives during that golden period can help in saving the victim’s life.
“This initiative by MoHFW will go a long way in managing trauma patients,” he said, adding that the certificate course can be availed by anybody across J&K by submit FRC form online available on our official website www.dhskashmir.com.
Notably, number of deaths are being reported when the patient is referred to Srinagar from peripheries, especially in maternity and neonatal care cases.
The experts, however, see the initiative in a positive sense saying that it a welcome step, however, the government should also initiate the process of establishing trauma care centres, especially in peripheries.
“It is good that the health department is going to start FRC, which should be helpful in the long run, however, they should also understand that the peripheries are lacking the trauma care set-up, and should take some steps to address that issue as well,” a doctor posted in periphery said.
Pertinently, as reported by ‘Kashmir Vision,’ there is a complete absence of Paediatric Trauma Care in peripheries and the absence of required infrastructure is forcing medics to refer the patients to Srinagar for specialized treatment, which is adding to the already pressurized paediatric healthcare system at the higher level.
Pertinent to mention, Road Traffic Accidents (RTA)—as per the data provided by State Traffic Police—in the state, for the year 2017 (till November), 5172 consumed 869 lives and injured 6412 persons. Interestingly only 697 accidents were categorized as ‘Fatal’.
Experts rue that numerous lives could have been saved if there was a presence of trauma centres on National Highways or the nearby district headquarters, however, at the same time medics are hopeful that FRC will do some good in RTAs too.
“FRC may help in case of RTAs, in may be helpful in reducing the number deaths caused by accidents, but fatal ones are may need something more than just FRC,” said a doctor.