War and Pre-Hospital Care

372 words | 2 page(s)

Wars and conflict cause massive injuries that require immediate attention hence the need and appreciation of pre-hospital medical care. This is the initial medical service rendered to an injured person by other people before the injured reaches the hospital. It is a life-saving service during risk situations. However, several challenges affect the effectiveness of pre-hospital care especially during wars.

Firstly, resource availability influences the capacity and sustainability of pre-hospital health care. There are many casualties involved during crisis situations that cannot be sustained by the limited resources available for the service. The quality of service delivery, therefore, is very poor. Secondly, there is a high turnover of the paramedics especially during wars. In addition, the volunteer paramedics are highly unreliable during such periods when they are on high demand. (Al-Shaqsi, 2010)

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Thirdly, ambulances are prone to attacks during wars. They can be targeted by community members, or terrorists who use the ambulances as escape vehicles hence killing the patients and the paramedics in the process. This poses a danger to the lives of both the patients and the respondents. Emergency responses are, therefore, slow as the threat of attack is high. It, therefore, frustrates people who can vandalize such pre-hospital care facilities. (Menzies, 2013).

Lastly, ambulances and paramedics can be blocked intentionally or due to impassability of various routes as a result of conflicts. This may be to prevent such help from reaching those particular people letting them die. In conflicts where the national governments are involved, it may frustrate the war perpetrators in this manner to force them to surrender or to erase them completely. This, therefore, contradicts the pre-hospital care philosophies of neutrality, humanity and impartiality. (Wilson et al., 2012)

In conclusion, pre-hospital care should be enhanced since most lives depend on it. During such emergencies, it is the only sure way of ensuring continuity of life of the war victims and should be highly appreciated and supported.

  • Al Shaqsi, S., (2010). State Of International EM: Current challenges in the provision of ambulance services in New Zealand. Int J Emerg Med.
  • Menzies, D., (2013). Challenges facing Community First Responders. Dublin University College, Dublin.
  • Wilson et al., (2012). Challenges facing a new pre-hospital care service in the developing world: the Nepali Ambulance Service (NAS). London, UK.

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