Coronavirus patient care in the air
PATIENTS diagnosed with coronavirus, that are living in regional Queensland, will receive extensive treatment, with multiple air ambulances available.
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue have three air ambulance jets dedicated to transporting patients with a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus.
The jets will be used to relocate patients from regional centres to medical facilities where higher levels of care can be provided.
Challenger 604 jets will be based in Brisbane and Townsville, as well as a Learjet 45 in Townsville too.
LifeFlight co-ordination centre director Brian Guthrie said the aircrafts were built to house equipment that is the equivalent of an intensive care unit.
“The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance jets are extremely suitable for this type work as they’re used primarily for high-acuity, long-range patient transport and can operate day or night, in all kinds of weather,” he said.
“In preparation for transporting suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients we have adjusted the configuration of both aircraft so they’re able to have either have a single stretcher or a dual stretcher, depending on the acuity of the patient.”
Mr Guthrie said it was a proactive step to ensure patients in remote areas of the state had access to the appropriate medical treatment required, especially during the current health crisis.
“The Learjets can fly at over 820 kilometres an hour, while the Challenger can reach 1050 kilometres an hour,” Mr Guthrie said.
“Our aeromedical crews are on 24/7 standby and can be airborne within 90 minutes of the first activation call, from our central co-ordination centre.”
RACQ Lifeflight Rescue are continuing to work alongside senior clinicians and Queensland Health to monitor and review procedures, as knowledge of the virus continues to develop.
“Protocols and standard operating procedures have been adopted, including doctors and nurses being required to wear protective masks, goggles, gloves and suits, as well as undertake appropriate decontamination measures, after they are in contact with suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients,” Mr Guthrie said.
“Our understanding and response to the management of coronavirus continues to develop and we are guided by the advice of health authorities and medical experts on the most effective measures to protect patients and staff.”
Queensland Health will task the aircraft to jobs when required.
The news of an additional aircraft was announced today, after Health and Ambulance Services Minister Dr Steven Miles announced the initial two ambulance jets were on standby, last week.
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