An air ambulance medical flight requires a balance of aviation safety and clinical expertise. The best air ambulance providers ensure each flight is properly-stocked with the right equipment that can handle any clinical situation at 40,000 feet.
Tools of the trade. Specialized work requires them. Here at Angel MedFlight, the work we do requires a large amount of specialized equipment. Much of the air ambulance equipment is complex and many times costly to acquire and maintain, but at that same level, the equipment can also save your life. In this blog post, we will talk about the equipment carried on our aircraft as well as the skills that are required to make the tools of the trade work.
First, the bed in the aircraft is different from a bed at home. At Angel MedFlight, we have committed to the Lifeport/Aerosled system, which offers a superior experience to our clinicians when caring for a patient. The ability to indeed provide bedside-to-bedside service in which a patient remains on the same bed the entire time is exceptional. As well, we can carry double the amount of oxygen compared to older patient loading systems. Again, this allows for more flexibility and allows for Angel MedFlight to transport increasingly complex patients – especially those with high flow oxygen needs.
A primary mainstay of the equipment we carry is a Zoll cardiac monitor. This device allows for the careful monitoring of heart rate, the electrical activity of the heart, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation. In addition, it has the ability to record End-Tidal carbon dioxide levels and temperature. One feature our cardiac monitors have been configured with is invasive pressure monitoring. Our staff is well trained in the access and interpretation of values from these devices.
A ventilator is also an essential part of the critical care environment. The CareFusion LTV1200 ventilator has been a mainstay of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for many years and has proven itself to be reliable and sound. Angel MedFlight’s commitment to providing excellent care includes using equipment that we know we can rely on. Whether the patient is a small pediatric patient requiring BiPAP through a tracheostomy or a patient who has become critically ill in a foreign county, we are confident in the ability of the LTV1200.
At last check, these aircraft are stocked with more than 300 items to provide the best and resourceful car for our patients. Our main goal is to replicate the care that is available in an ICU.
In addition to the equipment mentioned above, we carry:
• Suctioning equipment
• An assortment of IV medications for:
• Pain control
• Cardiac intervention
• Shock management
• Blood pressure support (IV Fluids/Pressors)
• Trauma management supplies
The inventory of an aircraft is important; however, it is not without the actual flight nurses and paramedics that this equipment is meaningful. Our clinicians each have many years of experience in the management of critical care patients as well as the operation of the equipment used to treat critical conditions. This also enables us to use equipment/clinical interventions that are non-standard to our aircraft. We have extensive experience with enteral feeding pumps, wound vacs, PCAs, home ventilators, IV medications, and much more. The clinical staff and knowledge that Angel MedFlight can offer is second to none and enables a level of care not found elsewhere in the industry.
We are all people. We must do what is best for those we care for, both in the clinical expertise we provide and the tools that we use. This is what sets Angel MedFlight apart. We have created a service that is unique and not found elsewhere. Between our all CFRN/FP-C staff and the excellent equipment behind them, we offer something special - peace of mind. We will do what is right, every time for our patients.
Jared Roorda, Certified Flight Paramedic/NRP FP-C has worked in healthcare since 2010. Since 2015 he has been a Certified Flight Paramedic with Angel MedFlight.