20% of emergency patients die in traffic

20% of emergency patients die in traffic

About 20% of emergency patients die on the way to hospitals because the ambulances taking them are stuck in traffic or some vehicles ignore to give way to them, National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM) secretary-general Anucha Sethasathian said.

Dr Anucha revealed the institute's statistics on Monday after a video clip -- which showed a pick-up truck refusing to give way to an ambulance which was rushing patients to a hospital in Chiang Mai -- went viral in social media.

He said the statistics indicated traffic problems caused about 20% of the deaths of emergency patients while on the way to hospitals.

They also showed some people did not understand that they should give the right of way to an ambulance rushing to a hospital.

Everyone should be aware that every second counts for patients in need of medical care, Dr Anucha said.

He said motorists should not raise any doubts on seeing an ambulance whether it is really taking a patient to a hospital.  Instead, they should raise their own awareness and learn to give way to an ambulance without being required to do so by a law.

Dr Anucha said most of the patients in ambulances had a heart disease, high-blood pressure and critical diabetic symptoms, or sustained injuries from violent accidents.

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