Access to emergency services an uphill task despite tough laws

 

Both the Constitution 2010 and the Health Act 2017 state that nobody should be denied emergency medical treatment.

This includes pre-hospital care, stabilising the patient, and arranging for referral in cases where the health provider of first call does not have the facilities necessary to stabilise the patient.

Emergency treatment, according to the African Federation for Emergency Medicine, is the provision of initial resuscitation, stabilisation, and treatment to acutely ill and injured patients, and delivery of those patients to the best available definitive care, regardless of ability to pay.

 

“More accident and emergency centres are required”, President Kenyatta

President Kenyatta takes action after a secret visit to KNH (Courtesy)

President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken action after he made a secret visit to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH)

The president who was speaking to the team tasked with regenerating Nairobi city co-chaired by Governor Mike Sonko and Tourism CS Najib Balala revealed that he made an anonymous visit to the National hospital and the state of the accidents and emergency centre was wanting.

He added that the center experiences too much pressure and more emergency centres are required in the city.

“More accident and emergency centres are required. You have to get these centres working,” said the President.

 

Ambulance Lights and Sirens

The major indication for Lights & Sirens (L&S) is a presumed significant decrease in response and transport time. However, multiple studies reveal a minimal decrease in transit time with L&S use, with an average of 1.7 to 3.6 minutes saved.

For most conditions, EMS providers can provide timely care on-site or en route to diminish the importance of time saved by L&S transport, thus reducing the risk to providers, patients, and the public. In greater than 90 percent of patients, there is no improved outcome from L&S use. For some conditions, such as ST-elevation myocardial infarctions, trauma with life-threatening haemorrhage, obstetrical emergencies, or ischemic strokes, the use of L&S use may improve patient outcome by decreasing transit time. However accurate prehospital notifications to the receiving hospitals may be more beneficial than L&S as this should reduce in-hospital delays waiting for therapeutic interventions. In some cases, prehospital notification has shown an evidence-based improvement in patient outcome by mobilizing the necessary resources.