Tomorrow 10th May 2016 at 3pm local time, the University of New Mexico Hospital’s Lifeguard Air Emergency Services, will launch its new helicopter service with the dedication of its newest emergency medical transport aircraft – an AgustaWestland AW119Kx Koala helicopter.
The helicopter, owned by SevenBar Aviation, is equipped with medical-crisis treatment capabilities – blood reserves, state-of-the-art ventilator and newly added ultrasound – for severe trauma, cardiac and high-risk obstetrics patients. These include patients requiring cardiac catheterization and interventional radiology, stroke and burn victims and neonatal intensive care patients.
Lifeguard crews include specially trained nurses and paramedics who can begin advanced trauma treatment long before patients arrive to an emergency room or other facility. They also can access immediate medical direction online from UNM Hospital physicians. “Lifeguard is an extension of UNM Hospitals, so medical crews are trained to carry out advanced procedures using medical equipment not available from other flight programs,” says Margaret O’Donnell, director of Lifeguard Air Emergency Services.
Lifeguard and SevenBar Aviation have a long history, both with deep roots in New Mexico. SevenBar opened in 1947 on Albuquerque’s West Mesa, while Lifeguard was the first air medical flight program to begin transporting patients in New Mexico in 1983. They’ve since worked together to transport more than 43,000 UNMH patients over 18 million miles.
Previously, Lifeguard have only operated fixed wing – currently a Beech 90 King Air and a Beech 200 Super King Air.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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