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Rapid response charity unveils new aeromedical aircraft

2 min read
Aeromedical aircraft

Patients in Greater Sydney now have improved access to lifesaving treatment with the addition of one of the world’s most advanced aeromedical aircraft to CareFlight’s fleet.

CareFlight’s new aeromedical aircraft is the Airbus H145, a twin-engine light utility helicopter that can be airborne within three minutes of activation.

It also has a flight speed of up to 250km per hour, and can reach patients in Sydney, Blue Mountains and Central Coast within 15 minutes.

The new addition to the fleet is expected to see significant action, as CareFlight’s Rapid Response Helicopter is tasked by NSW Ambulance for 250-300 missions a year covering Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Blue Mountains regions.

Research completed both in Australia and internationally provides clear evidence that the faster the patient gets medical treatment from a specialist doctor, the better the outcome.

“CareFlight flies our specialist doctor and NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedic to the scene of trauma so they can immediately assess and commence clinical treatment. For patients who are critically injured or ill we know this gives patients the best chance of survival, and with the H145 online, we will be able to arrive and commence treatment sooner,” said CareFlight’s National Medical Director, Dr Toby Fogg.

Continuing to reach patients rapidly is further enhanced by the aircraft’s safety features which allow it to land on small and uneven landing sites, as close to the scene of the incident as possible. These safety features include a small diameter high main rotor and fully enclosed Fenestron tail rotor. Being mounted on skids with a high belly clearance also widens the landing options available to the pilot.

Specially configured with the most up-to-date medical equipment including a mobile intensive care unit, the aircraft can carry a crew of three highly skilled and experienced medical staff and one patient. It can also be reconfigured to carry two patients and two medical staff if required.

The cabin is designed to mimic the internal space of a road ambulance and is fitted with advanced radio and intercom systems allowing patients to be closely monitored throughout their transportation. The rear clamshell doors allow for faster loading and unloading of patients saving critical minutes, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

“This helicopter is internationally recognised to be one of the safest and most advanced aeromedical helicopters in the world. This will help save lives and deliver to the community, an outstanding aeromedical service,” said CareFlight CEO, Mick Frewen.

“CareFlight was founded on innovation and we continue to strive to push ourselves, and the service, to ensure we get to patients fast so our doctors and NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedics can start life-saving clinical interventions as soon as they arrive at the scene,” he said.


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