When European Air Ambulance was called in to repatriate a family of four who had all been injured in an accident, it faced a challenge.
Thanks to its LearJet 45XR, EAA managed to transport all four in one flight.
The significant advantages of the double stretcher configuration of the LearJet 45XR air ambulance were fully demonstrated when a family of four injured in a road traffic accident was successfully repatriated together, with no need to separate them on the flight between Turkey and France. European Air Ambulance medical supervisor Dr. David Sinclair presented details of the case at last year’s International Travel Insurance Conference in Vienna.
All four members of the French family – a mother, two daughters aged 10 and 12 and a seven-year old son – had sustained injuries following a head-on collision in a vehicle the mother had been driving while vacationing in Turkey. The patients were admitted to university hospital where they were treated for their injuries – the mother had a shaft fracture of the left humerus, the elder daughter a shaft fracture of the right humerus and the femoral neck, the ten-year old suffered a scull fracture, epidural hemorrhage, and a displaced fracture of the zygomatic arch, while the boy was treated for laceration of the spleen, pneumothorax and soft tissue abrasions.
Upon landing in Turkey, the EAA medical crew and their equipment were met by ambulance – a second ambulance was waiting at the hospital. The EAA doctor reviewed each case and undertook his own examination to confirm that each of the four patients was fit to fly. The patients were then transported to the airfield in two ambulances, with the mother and two younger children in one vehicle, and the 12-year old in the second ambulance – the medical crew had decided in this case to place the patients according to social, rather than medical, factors.
At the airfield, the patients were easily transferred to EAA’s dedicated air ambulance, the state-of-the-art LearJet XR45.
The air ambulance has a cabin that can be easily adapted to single or double stretcher configurations with room for relatives or sitting patients. The double stretcher configuration was used for the flight from Turkey, with the two daughters lying on the stretchers. The mother and son, facing each other in the cabin, were able to sit opposite the 10-year old in the aft of the cabin. The two medical crew, the physician and flight nurse, sat next to the 12-year old in the forward unit.
The mission was flown at sea level, thus reducing any possible enlargement of the boy’s pneumothorax. Indeed, during the flight all four patients remained in a stable condition.
Upon landing in Paris, all four patients were transferred under the constant supervision of EAA crew to the admitting hospital without further incident.
The double-stretcher configuration and EAA’s meticulous mission preparation and the experience of its medical and flight crews thus enabled the successful bed-to-bed transfer of the family of four without any need to separate them.