Road traffic accidents have become a major public health issue all over the world. The problem is more pronounced in developing countries. The United Nations have included road safety in the sustainable development goals (SDG). Goal 3 of the 17 SDGs which deals with health has a target of reduction of traffic mortality to half by 2020. India enunciated a road safety policy in 2010. Government of West Bengal has launched a programme of “Safe Drive Save Life” on July 8, 2016. The WB Government has initiated various measures under education, engineering, enforcement and emergency care for reduction of road traffic accidents and mortality. A lead trauma hospital has been set up in Kolkata City. Kolkata Police have embarked upon a PPP model along with Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata for providing pre-hospital life support to trauma victims. In 2012 Medica has operationalized this PPP model. The trained Emergency Medical Technicians provide essential care at the scene of crash and during transportation of the injured patient to the nearest hospital. The Kolkata Accident Response and Medical Assistance (KARMA) Command Centre at Medica provides direction to the Emergency Medical Technicians ( EMT), liaises with the receiving hospital to activate their trauma care facility and monitor the movement of the ambulance. Providing minimal prehospital life support at the site of crash and during transportation to the appropriate hospital within 10 minutes goes a long way in reducing trauma mortality substantially.

The KARMA team had evacuated all patients where call was received except those who after receiving the first aid treatment refused transportation. In all cases the “Golden Period” could be achieved.

The KARMA Programme has shown results. In 2019 there was 9% less mortality from road accidents. The KARMA model is an effective model of Prehospital Trauma Life Support.

The article analysed the various components of the PPP model including the training component of the EMTs. The programme is compared with that of advanced countries particularly the paramedic based pre-hospital emergency care of the USA.

Key Words: KARMA, SDG, EMT, Accident, Crash, Golden hour, Golden period, Road Traffic, Ambulance Code, Golden Principle, Injuries, Life support, Prehospital


Monday, August 23, 2021