Heavy traffic causes patients death in ambulance

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Heavy traffic causes patients death in ambulance
Medic and ambulance driver share their tragic stories on how their patients died in the middle of Manila heavy traffic. (Image from Top Gear Philippines)

Many patients die when their ambulance gets stuck in heavy traffic in Manila, medic warns.

For medical responders, every second count to save a life.

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An ambulance driver and paramedic Joseph Laylo told AFP, “You feel empty. It is as if you were not given a chance to do everything in your capacity to help.”

The traffic jam in Manila was so severe that special lanes for ambulances were not used. Local drivers also refuse to give way even if they see an emergency vehicle approaching.

“If the traffic was not that bad it could have saved the patient,” Laylo added as he recalls how one of his patients died in the middle of heavy traffic.

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Heavy traffic triples travel time to the hospital

An ambulance driver shared his story of losing a patient when it took 40 minutes instead of just 20 to bring the critically ill patient to the hospital.

“No matter how hard we honk, even if we use our siren, if the vehicles are not moving it doesn’t matter,” Adriel Aragon said in frustration.
His patient lost her pulse five minutes before they reached the hospital. The woman who had her chance of survival was pronounced dead on arrival at the emergency room.

“That’s what happened that time,” Aragon said to what happed in 2014 tragedy.

Aldo Mayor, public safety chief of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) can’t help but blame road users for such tragic ambulance stuck in traffic incidents.

“Some people simply do not care. It is as if they are the only residents of this world,” said Mayor.

Neither the government nor the medics and ambulance driver count how many patients died inside the ambulance when they could have been saved, if not for the worst heavy traffic in Manila.

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