A total of 36,283 times, DRF air-rescue crews were alerted last year to provide emergency medical help to severely injured or ill people, or fly them to specialized centers for treatment (2016: 35,846). The proportion of operations carried out in the dark was once again around one fifth at the 24-hour stations. The DRF Luftrettung has been a pioneer in 24-hour air rescue for many years. The non-profit organization has state-of-the-art helicopters that are particularly suitable for night flight and employs highly qualified personnel.
“Emergencies do not stick to times. If a person is in mortal danger after a heart attack or a serious traffic accident, then every minute counts, no matter whether it is light or dark, “emphasizes Dr. med. Peter Huber, CEO of DRF Luftrettung. “Seriously injured or ill patients must be cared for very quickly at night and transported to the clinic that suits them best. Air rescue makes a key contribution, which will become even more important in the future. The DRF Luftrettung is well prepared for these challenges. Our pilots have a great deal of experience in instrument flight and in the use of night vision devices, “continues the board.
Golden Hour saves lives
The medical societies say it clearly: time is life. Patients who are being cared for in special clinics, such as a cardiac catheterization lab or a stroke department, during the so-called “golden hour” often have better chances of surviving and recovering completely. Here, a rethink in emergency rescue is necessary, because so far, the main focus was on the question how quickly a patient received medical help at the emergency site. Now increasingly the total supply time comes into the foreground, which covers the entire span of the alerting over the supply locally to the beginning for the diagnostics and treatment in a special clinic. The transport in the helicopter brings here a huge time advantage.
Air rescue in the dark becomes more important
But so far, the crews at most of the helicopter stations in Germany had their turn of duty when the evening dawned. Dr. Huber makes it clear that changes can be expected here in the future: “Why waive the many benefits of air rescue just because it’s dark? In order to be able to ensure an optimal emergency medical care for people in the future, we must increasingly rely on the use of helicopters at night. “Two options are conceivable, the board continued: full 24-hour readiness or in a first Step up the extension of office hours into the early morning and evening hours.
Background to the DRF Luftrettung
In total, the DRF Luftrettung deployed helicopters at 29 air rescue stations in Germany and at two stations in Austria for rapid emergency rescue and urgent transport of intensive care patients between clinics. Nine of the stations are operational around the clock. Locations within a radius of 60 kilometers reach the helicopter in a maximum of 15 minutes.
Financing the air rescue
- The billing of air rescue operations via the health insurance on the basis of the minutes of flight.
- The health insurance companies reimburse the costs, which correspond to the legally prescribed scope of services.
- Continuous investment in training for employees and in the modernization of medical technology and helicopters, which go beyond the prescribed minimum standard, the DRF Luftrettung partly own, sometimes it enters into financial advance.
- To ensure its high quality, the nonprofit air rescue organization relies on the support of funders and donors. Info phone Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 19:00: 0711-70072211. Further information online at: www.drf-luftrettung.de
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