Covid-19 pandemic has pushed up demand for air ambulances in Karnataka | Bengaluru Information

Covid-19 pandemic has pushed up demand for air ambulances in Karnataka | Bengaluru News - Times of India

BENGALURU: Though an costly possibility, the demand for air ambulance providers within the state has seen a spurt because the outbreak of Covid-19 final 12 months, with many Covid sufferers being airlifted from small to larger cities and even vice versa.
Until April, air ambulance providers used to switch 5-10 critically sick sufferers a month from smaller cities like Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Koppal and Ballari to metropolitan cities reminiscent of Bengaluru and Chennai in addition to Hyderabad. However demand went as much as 20-30 a day throughout the second wave.
Throughout the peak of the second wave in April-Might, many Covid sufferers have been shifted out of Bengaluru on account of non-availability of oxygenated beds and ventilators within the capital metropolis.
“Queries for air ambulances went up considerably, particularly from folks in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. We obtained not less than 20-30 queries a day for our air ambulance providers,” stated Amit Dutta, managing director, Blade India.
In addition to the wealthy, small businessmen, officers, executives, medical doctors and even actors and politicians employed air ambulances.
Gopal Karjol, son of deputy CM Govin Karjol, was shifted from Bagalkot to Hyderabad final 12 months after he was contaminated with Covid. “His probabilities of survival have been zero had he not been airlifted to Hyderabad,” stated a health care provider treating him in Bagalkot.
In November final 12 months, Hubballi-Dharwad police commissioner Labhu Ram was airlifted to Bengaluru from Hubballi after he fell severely sick following a throat an infection. He recovered inside 15 days.
In Might this 12 months, spouse of M Rajendra, BJP state secretary, was airlifted to Manipal hospitals in Bengaluru after she developed Covid problems. Shashank Ekbote, an govt at Malabar Gold and Diamonds was shifted from Hubballi to Bengaluru. Equally, a senior official at Mysuru DC workplace was additionally airlifted and he too recovered after a fortnight.
“I get round 30 calls on daily basis. It’s arduous to say no, however we additionally need to prioritise which we do by triaging,” stated Dr Shalini Nalwad, co-founder and director, Worldwide Important Care Air Switch Crew (ICATT), an air ambulance with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The service was launched completely for Covid sufferers.
“Individuals search air ambulances primarily to save lots of time,” stated Dr Rahul Singh Sardar, co-founder, ICATT.
The excessive prices haven’t deterred folks in hiring air ambulances, say some aggregators and constitution aircraft operators. Shifting a critically sick affected person from Hubballi to Bengaluru earlier would price lower than Rs 3-4 lakh, however it could price 3-5 lakh further if the affected person is Covid constructive.
“Transporting Covid sufferers is a troublesome operation, an important being isolating sufferers and crew. Air ambulances need to be outfitted with isolation pods — mandated by the Union well being ministry for ferrying Covid-19 sufferers. This in flip has pushed up prices,” stated an air ambulance operator in Bengaluru.
In accordance with the Directorate Common of Civil Aviation, solely 18 firms are authorised to function air ambulances with 26 plane cleared for medical transportation.

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