During a routine morning at work, Mahmoud Osman, a Medical Dispatcher with the Ambulance Service, received a call that would test his skills and require him to guide a desperate father through the process of helping his wife deliver their baby at home.
At 10.04am on 10 September, 2015, Mahmoud received a 999 emergency call from a father asking for an ambulance to come to his nine month pregnant wife who was about to deliver their baby. Mahmoud is part of the Medical Dispatch service that handles incoming calls for emergency medical assistance from the public or other agencies. Dispatchers are required to identify the nature of the request, prioritize its severity, dispatch the necessary resources and provide dispatch life support when appropriate.
After doing the necessary address verification and sending the appropriate ambulance team, Mahmoud continued to talk to the father, asking for a full description of the situation. “It quickly became clear to me that this case was very complicated. Through the description that the father was giving to me, I identified that this was a breach presentation, meaning the baby’s buttocks, rather than head, were appearing first,” explained Mahmoud. This type of delivery is potentially dangerous for both the mother and baby and required Mahmoud’s quick thinking.
Mahmoud relied on his comprehensive training and followed the Dispatch Life Support Protocols to handle the case. Taking the father through the Medical Priority Dispatch System, Mahmoud began instructing the caller on how to deliver the baby safely. However, Mahmoud soon identified another complication to this delivery. He explained: “While I was providing reassurance to the father and instructing him, it became apparent that there was another complicating factor. The father described to me how the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck, raising the risk of choking the baby.” Mahmoud remained calm and described clearly to the father exactly what he needed to do to protect the baby and deliver him safely.
“I was so happy when I finally heard the sound of the baby crying. This was when I knew he had been delivered safely. As a team, we respond to thousands of emergency calls every week and it is calls like this that really make me realize the importance of the job we do. It’s fantastic that everything came together and we achieved the perfect outcome for the mother, father and baby,” Mahmoud explained.
Mahmoud’s actions were recognized at the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch Navigator Conference, where he was named as the Medical Dispatcher of the Year for his excellence in handling emergency calls.
“Our Ambulance Service provides a vital service for the population of Qatar: a life-saving one. Typically, when we think of examples of this, we envision the service’s paramedics saving lives at the scene of an accident, but Mahmoud’s actions highlight the importance of the Medical
Dispatch team and the vital role they fulfil,” explained Thomas Reimann, Executive Director of HMC’s Healthcare Coordination Service.
“As always, our main priority is the safety and wellbeing of our patients and the entire service is delighted that this story had a happy outcome, with a baby safely entering the world,” he said.
Mahmoud is part of the highly trained medical dispatch team within the Ambulance Service’s Medical Communication Center. The center has been recognized as an Accredited Center of Excellence by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch, endorsing the high quality service it provides to the population of Qatar.