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Protest-casualty plan readied

10 teams of doctors, evacuation areas prepared, centred at Govt House

TEN TEAMS of doctors and 20 rescue units have been prepared to provide emergency medical aid to any protesters injured during today's massive rally, a senior public health official said yesterday.

The emergency medical plan was announced at Government House following a meeting of senior public health officials with representatives from the Erawan Emergency Medical Centre of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thai Red Cross, Vajira Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospital, and Phra Mongkut Klao Hospital.

The plan was announced by Dr Narong Apikulwanit, director of the forward medical operations centre for political rallies.

Narong said the meeting agreed to change its operation plan to cope with the rally today. They have redesigned the zones under responsibility to number three instead of four. Under the new plan, Government House will be at the centre, and evacuation areas have been designated for injured demonstrators, he said.

Narong said 10 advanced life-support (ALS) teams, each manned by a doctor, would be prepared from five hospitals, including Ratchawithi, Ramathibodi and Phra Mongkut Klao, to help demonstrators in the three zones.

The Ruam Katanyoo and Poh Teck Teung foundations would provide 20 basic life-support teams, comprising professionally trained personnel, to help the demonstrators.

Ten other ALS teams from Chachoengsao, Prachin Buri, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom would be on standby and ready to rush in and reinforce the emergency medical operations.

Narong said his forward centre would assess the situation to decide where medical teams would be dispatched.

The tollgate of the Yommaraj Expressway has been selected for taking up and transferring injured protesters to hospitals because transportation from there would be convenient.

He said the Erawan Centre, Narenthon Emergency Centre and the Ratchawithi Hospital would be contacted to send ambulances for injured protesters.

Narong said two foundation officials would coordinate with the protesters to make way for evacuations of injured protesters.

Speaking at the same press conference, Dr Phanpimol Wipulakorn, spokeswoman of the Public Health Ministry, advised people not to monitor reports about protests for too many hours each day.

She said the consuming of too much information could over-tire them, resulting in physical and mental exhaustion.

She said people would be under much tension and become sleepless and get headaches if they followed too much protest information.


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