Aeromedical services in South Africa
Aeromedical service in simple term is a healthcare service whereby helicopters and aircraft are used for patient transportation. Aeromedical service proves helpful when a patient requires urgent medical care and time is very crucial for the patient in deciding the fate of a patient(s). Aeromedical services play a vital role in countries having a diverse and challenging geographical condition. Timely provision of medical help to the patient is a critical factor for saving the life of the patient.
Cedarberg is one of the places in South Africa that is loved by people who prefer to travel long distance by road. Those who like to go for long drives, away from the traffic and rush of the city life, prefer to drive towards Cedarberg for its scenic beauty and broad roads to drive. It is noticeably very different from Cape Town because it's hotter and also very few people go there for hikes. If someone travels to Cederberg Wilderness Reserve, for a walk, one may see only a few walkers on the whole path. Its beauty is unique with a red-brown rocky harvest of the Cedarberg.
A girl who was in her teen, suffered significant injuries in a road accident when she was on her way to Cedarberg with her group. Their car hit the pavement after a collision with a massive tree at about noon on a Saturday. Her other group members escaped with minor injuries, but the car was severely damaged. One of her injured friend who was in a stable condition, called her family to arrange for emergency medical care, and family established contact with the Hi-Flying team for Aeromedical rescue service. The medical team of Hi-Flying contacted them and asked to describe the condition of their co-mate who was severely injured. She was in a critical condition and had suffered a severe injury on her head. The rescue team comprising of medical expert and a paramedic arrived on the scene immediately after receiving the call, in a helicopter. The girl was assessed on the scene upon arrival. Other four people sustained injuries from minor to moderate, they were stabilized before being transported to the hospital for the further care that they required.
- Hi Flying has a dedicated state-of-the-art ICU air ambulance and they provide round the clock service to patients in South Africa, surrounding islands and across the African continent as well as out of South Africa to many other parts of the world. This type of services is required in cases where prompt evacuation and the support of a specialized life-saving, pre-hospital emergency medical care is a must. In some cases, it means the difference between survival and death. In most of the cases, helicopters are used as an emergency medical transport facility. Research has shown that the proper deployment of helicopters has a better effect on patient repatriation outcomes and their use has been accepted worldwide as a valuable instrument in saving lives.
- Hi-Flying follows an internationally accepted set of flight authorization criteria. They determine as per the case requirement, when the use of a helicopter is required, and which patients will benefit the most from being airlifted.
- Hi-Flying has been catering to clients for both short and long-range flights. Their service is available 365 days, and their service can be availed within minutes of booking.
- Their aircraft are customized and configured with full equipment, mobile intensive care units, with the latest technology to facilitate effective patient care for best results.
- In the event of an accident, the difference between life and death can be mere seconds. One needs an emergency medical service that can react quickly, provide the patient with on-site medical attention and transport safely and quickly to the closest, most appropriate medical facility.
- Healthcare professional flies to the destination of the patient and then post evaluation, the patient is deported to the hospital. The team decided for each operation is planned as per the requirement of the patient, the number of patients to be repatriated from the location and the proximity of the situation. Mostly a medical expert team comprises of a nurse and a doctor.
- Evacuation of the major trauma injured patient b helicopters proves to be beneficial. Also, the medical aid provided by the medical expert, who travel in a helicopter proves to beneficial for the patient, and it helps to stabilize the condition of the patient. The Hi-flying team have catered for the evacuation of the critical trauma patient and have a dedicated team to handle the procedure.
- Hi-Flying air ambulance is a specially designed helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft that transports injured or the sick patient in case of an emergency or carries the patient's to another country as well. Helicopters are used mostly to fly within the country, and fixed-wing aircraft are often used to expatriate patients over long distances and for repatriation from foreign countries. All these and related operations are called aeromedical service. Their air ambulances are equipped with medical equipment those are important for monitoring and treating injured or ill patients. Common equipment for air ambulances includes stretchers, medications, and monitoring units, CPR equipment. Qualified medical staff and equipped air ambulance provide medical care in flight. There are non-medically equipped aircraft too which comprises of medical escorts and they simply expatriate patients without the care in flight.
- Hi-Flying serves a wide range of clients from an individual person, to corporate business houses, and aviation associations as well. They are a certified service provider and provides round the clock Aero medical services to their clients. The helicopters and aircrafts used by Hi-Flying service are well equipped to handle any life- threatening medical emergency. The costs for these services depend upon the type of aircraft used, distance to be covered, number and type of medical and para-medical associates and kind of medical help needed. Though at times the charges of this service may not be high, the importance of the coexistence of such a facility during an emergency cannot be overlooked.
When the medical expert reached the destination, they found that the girl Sarah had sustained severe injuries, also she had suffered injuries on her head. She required prompt transportation to the nearest healthcare center whereas the other companions were stable and had suffered from minor injuries. Sarah was airlifted with one of her companions, immediately on a medical stretcher to the hospital in Capetown. The other members were transported by road ambulance to the hospital. First aid was provided to them in the ambulance. Sarah's parents were contacted to reach the destination hospital as early as possible. Hospital in Capetown was contacted to arrange for the emergency medical hospitalization of the patient. Throughout, the medical team kept on monitoring the patient's condition during the transit and upon reaching the destination, the doctors were briefed about her condition and the emergency medical aid provided by the team. She was rushed to the operation theater and further course of treatment was initiated. Her parents too arrived at the hospital. They were traumatized but on the contrary, were relieved to find that their daughter reached the hospital on time or it could have been life threatening for her.
Sarah is recovering in the hospital, and the family has high praises for the promptness of Hi Flying service and their medical team who had handled the entire process with such professionalism and care.