health

Frivolous ambulance calls could endanger lives

Calling an ambulance for frivolous reasons could jeopardise the life of someone who is in dire need of medical care

20:41 July 11, 2017
Paramedics ferry an injured person from a Dubai street into an ambulance
nat_170710 Fares Al Bardan
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Dubai: Calling an ambulance for frivolous reasons could jeopardise the life of someone who is in dire need of medical care, ambulance officials warned.

In a profession where every second matters, wasting precious time on minor medical emergencies puts a strain on limited paramedic resources.

“People should be aware that not all situations require calling an ambulance,” said Fares Al Bardan, head of Emergency Unit of Deira, DCAS.

“When you request an ambulance for a non-emergency case, you are wasting time and resources that could be used to save another patient. When we are alerted, the ambulance driver takes risks, crosses red lights, and gets flashed by radars to get to the patient in the shortest time,” he explained.

Al Bardan said there should be more awareness that minor cases can be easily dealt with at the nearest clinic or hospital.

“Many cases can be very silly, such as a person suffering from a toothache. Instead of driving to a dentist, they ask for an ambulance. We are trying to educate the community that an ambulance is only for serious cases,” he said.

Hareb Al Yaeesh, head of Emergency Unit of Bur Dubai, DCAS, said paramedics are compassionate and take every call seriously.

“Most of the time the emergency calls are serious, but a lot of times people seem to misunderstand what ambulance services are really for. We call on the community to be mindful when they do it,” he said.