FOCUS on…AIR MEDICAL The latest generation of air medical helicopters is meeting with enthusiasm from both pilots and medical crews. An example, at the AgustaWestland exhibit (Booth No. 5602) is the A109SP GrandNew medevac machine operated by Intermountain HealthCare’s Life Flight out of Salt Lake City.
Emergency medical services
A new University of Illinois study found that only 1.4 percent of the 27,697 medevac flights it studied from 2009 were “medically inappropriate.” All of the flights were performed by Air Evac Lifeteam, a helicopter EMS company operating in 14 states.
Sikorsky has introduced a new interior for emergency medical services (EMS) on the S-76 medium twin. The new interior incorporates a so-called “articulating patient loading system” that reduces the workload for the team carrying a patient on a stretcher. In addition, the system prevents patient back strain. The new litter base opens the cabin floor for more storage and allows multiple litter positioning.
Prompt access to air ambulances can significantly improve the survival odds of stroke patients, according to a recently released University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study. The research found that 45 percent of Americans–135 million people–are more than an hour away from primary stroke centers, the facilities best equipped to care for them if they are stricken by the condition. Less than a quarter of U.S.
In response to the rash of helicopter accidents experienced over the past few years by the medical transport industry, the National Emergency Medical Services Pilots Association (Nemspa) has rolled out a new safety/risk assessment plan known as the “No Pressure Initiative.”
Pentastar Aviation has signed up its first emergency medical services (EMS) customer and is now running all University of Michigan Health System Survival Flight operations. The fleet includes a Citation Encore and three Bell 430s. Pentastar is headquartered at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Mich.
Swiss interiors designer Aerolite has delivered a fourth AW139 EMS helicopter to Norwegian air ambulance operator Lufttransport. The interior includes a stretcher for single- and dual-patient configuration and four “ergonomically placed” swiveling and tracking seats. If necessary, the operator can change the configuration to a 12-seat utility design.
Offshore oil transport specialist PHI has unveiled what it says is the first dedicated, 24-hour offshore emergency medical services helicopter.
Abu Dhabi-based Prestige Jet (Chalet No. 23) is expanding its air ambulance business to cater for a strong surge in demand for its medical evacuation and repatriation services. Yesterday, the company announced the formation of a new subsidiary, Prestige Flight Ambulance (PFA), which will make a dedicated Bombardier Challenger 604 and Learjet 55 available around the clock to carry patients to and from the United Arab Emirates.
Helicopters again played a critical role in providing safe evacuations and critical rescues before and after twin hurricanes that pounded the U.S. Gulf Coast between September 1 and September 13. But unlike when Hurricane Katrina laid waste to New Orleans and parts of coastal Mississippi and Alabama in 2005, this time authorities were ready, with detailed plans in place for Gustav and Ike.