How can focus on Patient Logistics reduce loss of lives during disasters?

Interview with Mr. Robert Sunde, Sales Manager and Co-Developer of LESS (Light Emergency Stretcher Systems) of Norway
One versatile patient logistics system for large road traffic accidents or huge natural or complex disasters. Norwegian Company LESS Ltd offers products and solutions for patient logistics and a holistic evacuation strategy.
Interview with Mr. Robert Sunde, Sales Manager and Co-Developer of LESS (Light Emergency Stretcher Systems) of Norway. LESS® IS A LEADING PROVIDER of products and solutions for patient logistics and a holistic evacuation strategy. We supply all necessary equipment to efficiently establish a casualty clearing station.
ESSENTIAL FEATURES‐LESS® Emergency Rescue Unit is a trailer solution for mass casualty incidents and large evacuations. It is equipped to establish a casualty clearing station rapidly. Most units are tailor-made for a certain level of preparedness according to a given risk assessment. Typical content is shown above.
THE LESS CONCEPT is designed for multi-purpose and multi-hazard response, training friendly and with high focus on self-help as in disasters the available professional resources are typically limited. LESS is used by leading ambulance/air ambulance and rescue services, air-ports, offshore and industry. LESS® emergency solutions are also used in national and international disaster management agencies.
What is optimizing patient logistics? In simple words it means sorting critical from non-critical patients and handling patients gently and worthily but effectively. By understanding and removing the bottlenecks within the patient logistic chain more lives can be saved during large accidents and disasters.
What is unique about your system? Versatility in adversity. Disasters occur unexpected in time, place, size and form. However there is ALWAYS patient logistics involved, so one should plan for that in the first place. That’s why we have developed one versatile system to sort, handle and transport injured in mass casualty incidents, to follow these patients from the scene of accident to the scene of treatment. We aim to reduce the negative impact for both patients and rescuers with a set of tools and accessories. THE LESS concept is designed for multi-purpose and multi-hazard response, training friendly and with high focus on self-help as in disasters the available professional resources are typically limited.
How is your method field tested? We have developed our concept in cooperation with, and with input from, professional rescuers, civil defence teams and not least professionals from the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation (SNLA). SNLA are currently leading in Europe with scientific studies within the pre-hospital sector. Among other studies they have shown that a systematic and standardized disaster approach can save time and lives. The LESS concept of Optimized Patient Evacuation is such a tool, suitable within an interdisciplinary strategy.
Where is LESS in use? Besides Scandinavian countries, Dubai ambulance services, UAE, adopted the LESS system in 2008. In 2011 Turkey followed with a nationwide coverage through civil defence teams. Turkey plays a key role in disaster preparedness in the entire region. Currently we are cooperating withvthe Ministry of Health in Iraq to install strategic stocks co-located with emergency rooms.
What are your main challenges? In today’s world of just-in-time-delivery, even decision makers seem to forget the importance of preparedness. But, honestly, who doesn’t understand it is too late to go and buy a first aid kit the day you cut your finger?
Your message to the world? Reduce discrimination; i.e. the disaster within the disaster. NGOs, with IFRC in the lead, have previously focused on reducing discrimination in disasters. They encourage field workers to focus on the elderly, disabled, injured, pregnant women and others that have reduced mobility. This is written in the organizations’ programs, but out in the field there is a lack of emergency stretchers that could enable field workers to observe the right priorities. We therefore hope NGOs will take advantage of innovative products and systems that can reduce suffering, recovery time, fatality and social cost of disasters. They are most welcome to discuss with us which are suitable preparedness solutions suitable for pre-stocking or integration in daily emergency response systems.

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