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Monday, June 01, 2009

Patiala Health Foundation Launches SevaMobile Trauma Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Organization focuses on ways to combat traffic and provide critical and emergency trauma care to those in need.

(Weirton, WV / Patiala Punjab India) - The Patiala Health Foundation, a registered 501-C3 non-profit based in the United States, has started its second phase of providing critical health care services to those in need. Today the organization is announcing the launch of three “SevaMobiles”, or charity vehicles, that will bring trauma care to injured people instead of waiting for them to get to hospitals.

The SevaMobile Initiative is a major innovation in Indian healthcare because it will shorten the time from emergency call to treatment by 50 percent. For many, these precious minutes can be the difference between life and death. Traffic in major metropolitan areas is a two-pronged danger in India. Firstly, many trauma deaths are caused by automobile accidents and secondly, the traffic itself slows down the ability for care professionals to reach victims and transport them to hospitals.

Trauma-related deaths occur every 1.9 minutes in India, according to a 2004 report in the Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine [IJCCM]. With traffic increasing, trauma will move from its current ninth position to become India’s third leading cause of death by 2020. The 10 percent increase in deaths from injuries in Punjab between 1983 and 1992 demonstrates the urgent need for trauma facilities in the region.

The SevaMobile Initiative will consist of a fully functional mobile trauma unit that also provides emergency critical care on site. In addition to this ambulance, two SevaMobile motorcycles will also be able to navigate through traffic and narrow roads to provide first response immediate care and stabilization. This first level of care will allow for victims to be quickly treated while more comprehensive care, via an ambulance, is on its way. The service will be offered free to those who cannot afford medical services and will be funded by the Patiala Health Foundation.

"In our analysis of urban healthcare, we found that there were many efforts underway to build new structures and hospitals, but there was still a real need to reach victims faster," said Patiala Health Foundation's Dr. Amrik S. Chattha. "We believe the SevaMobile Initiative will be a major innovation, impacting the lives of people by treating them quickly and more efficiently. We also believe that pre-hospital care, such as that offered by the SevaMobile, should be a right to all injured victims."

The organization is currently planning to partner with public and private hospitals in the area to transport patients to larger treatments centers. Patients who cannot afford the medical fees will be treated free of charge courtesy of the Patiala Health Foundation. Those who can afford the service will pay for their care, enabling the program to partially fund itself, while also creating a longer sustainability of operations.

"We want to help those in need, but also build a system that supports itself," noted Dr. Harish Sood, another Patiala Health Foundation board member who is spearheading the SevaMobile effort on the ground in India with a collection of local trustees. Additionally, fifteen retired alumni of Patiala Medical College are volunteering their services and time to assist with the project.

SevaMobiles are planning to commence operations this winter. The project is funded by the Patiala Health Foundation whose funds have been raised by Indian-Americans across the United States through six benefit events in Ohio, California, North Carolina, New York and, most recently, Virginia. The organization is also actively looking for additional donors, corporate partners and grant giving organizations interested in improving health care for low-income citizens within India.

For more information on the Patiala Health Foundation please contact:

Patiala Health Foundation at 304-723-4151 or amrikchattha@yahoo.com.

Image source (Courtesy of Getty Images)

My source: Vijay Chattha, PHF PR Contact

Additional links:

Ideas Factory posts

DoH (2005). Taking healthcare to the patient: Transforming NHS ambulance services.

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