October 19, 2020, Mumbai: On World Trauma Day 2020, Johnson & Johnson Private Limited (J&J India), and the Indian Road Safety Campaign (IRSC) have partnered to run an awareness drive on road safety, significance of the ‘Golden Hour’ and the Good Samaritan Law.
According to the WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2018, India ranks #1 in the number of road accident deaths across 199 countries. The gap between the present level of available, efficient, and expert trauma care and the desired level of care remains large. To add to this problem, COVID 19 created a unique situation amongst India’s trauma care centres in the last nine months.
J&J India and IRSC are committed to equip both healthcare providers and citizens to become Good Samaritans and provide effective trauma care. As part of the initiative, they are encouraging Good Samaritans to share their stories of courage and disseminate the valuable information on the new rights that Good Samaritans reserve today.
Dr. Sachin Bhat Principal Orthopaedic Surgeon at SRV Group of Hospitals at Goregaon, Dombivli & Chembur “We should bring about an awareness in people the importance of the “Golden Hour” and also about the Good Samaritan law. People should be made aware that lives can be saved by helping an accident victim in the crucial minutes and that they would be protected by this law. I am sure if we bring awareness about this more and more people will come forward to help such victims and more lives would be saved.”
According to experts, basic health services like trauma care cannot be compromised even during the pandemic. There should be a dedicated triage area for the trauma patients so that timely care can be provided to the trauma patients at all times. COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. Therefore, the ability of trauma care providers to adjust to chaotic circumstances, novel patient injuries, and changing environmental conditions needs to be improvised.
People in India are still unaware of the existence of their new rights as Good Samaritans. A Good Samaritan is a person who, in good faith, without expectation of payment or reward and without any duty of care or special relationship, voluntarily comes forward to administer immediate assistance or emergency care to a person injured in an accident, or crash, or emergency medical condition, or emergency situation. The Good Samaritan Law is a protective framework that came into effect in India in 2016 and here are the rights of a Good Samaritan:
1.Not liable for any civil or criminal action
2.Not to be compelled to reveal his/her personal identity/details
3.Can choose to be an eyewitness and cannot be compelled
4.Cannot to be forced to bear the initial cost of treatment
5.Hospitals cannot refuse emergency treatment to a victim
Through the initiative, J&J India and IRSC are emphasizing on the significance of the ‘Golden Hour’ and awareness on the Good Samaritan Law that protects the rights of bystanders who help road accident victims without fear of legal hassle.