A vehicle that transports patients to hospital departments on behalf of the health sector is called an ambulance. This medically implemented vehicle responds to medical emergencies and takes responsibility for the pre-hospital procedures. For example, first aid, stabilizing critical injuries/illness, transporting the patients to definitive care, etc. There are many types of ambulances. There are car/van ambulances, motorcycle ambulances, helicopter/boat ambulances, and fire engine ambulances.
Traffic principles of an ambulance
Ambulances are expected to reach the patients or site on time. Few traffic rules are amended for the ambulances to reach patients faster; they’re allowed to jump the red signals or ‘stop’ board and mend the speed limits.
The public needs to identify an ambulance on the road. The traffic needs to give way for the ambulance and let it reach the destination quicker. Hence, ambulances come with few visual and audible signals. Ambulances usually have stickers on them indicating their services. They have passive visual and audible warnings. Ambulances have high contrast-colored designs and retro-reflective stickers on them. They also include stickers spelling ambulance in the local language. These stickers are stuck on the ambulance, such that they reverse on the vehicle and appear correctly on reflections.
Tools in an ambulance
Ambulances preclude basics tools for controlling a critical condition. They are several first aid tools, a few monitors, and other necessary things.
1. First-Aid kit (Including stethoscope, oxygen cylinder, IV equipment)
2. B.P. apparatus (Digital B.P. machine, Mercury BP machine)
3. Suction unit
4. Thermometers and Glucometer
5. All types of scissors
6. All kinds of forceps
7. Stainless steel basins and bowls (medium & large), etc.
In addition to the technical equipment, an ambulance requires machinery to extend the patient’s care. Hence, machines like:
1. CCTV camera: which gathers evidence inside/outside an ambulance. In case of any violation of law by patients or staff, these footages are used.
2. Tail-lift/ramp: the ramp is used to load or unload the patient from the ambulance.
3. Two-way radio: this radio allows the crew to inform the condition and pass information to the hospital to understand the situation better.
4. Monitors: to check the human body activity and status, etc.
Types of ambulances
There are four types of ambulances:
1. BLS (Basic Life Support): These are the ones we see regularly. These are used for patients with non-serious illness or injuries, such as small fractures, unconsciousness, etc. These ambulances are provided with a wheelchair, bed, auto-load stretchers, oxygen delivery devices, etc.
2. ALS (Advanced Life Support): These are used for cardiac patients or severely injured ones. These ambulances are provided with advanced machinery like ventilators, ECG monitor, blood drawing tools, defibrillator, etc. These ambulances also have a trained staff who can support the patient’s requirements.
3. Patient Transport Vehicle: – These are used to transport a patient from one health center to another, including hospitals and testing centers. These are provided with a bed and other primary life support equipment.
4. Mortuary: – These are used only to transport dead bodies. These are also called Hearse vans. These have a freezer box and trained staff to take care of the safe transport of the body.