Thursday, 19 September 2013

Every Second Counts; An Account of a Flying Doctor's Nigerian Evacuation

This is another concise report of a Flying Doctor from our team of Flying Doctors Nigeria on one of our evacuations in this second quarter of 2013.


The index patient is a Nigerian, well schooled and highly experienced with a penchant for acquiring knowledge of any subject of Human Endeavour.

On receiving the emergency call, our team was immediately assembled, equipments were checked and double-checked, these include; airway management devices, drugs, intravenous fluids, equipments for emergency resuscitation (ALS), patient transfer equipments (stretcher /special vacuum mattress). International passports with appropriate visa availability also crossed-checked. The aircraft (fixed-wing) challenger jet, that we were using as an air ambulance for our medvac with experienced and polite crew members made ready on red alert.

An advance-party (experienced flying doctor Nigeria health personnel) sent ahead to ensure co-ordination of the stabilization of the patient prior to evacuation by air.

Primary survey on ground revealed a non intubated patient, breathing spontaneously but with difficulty. However, patient suffered an acute exacerbation of his condition while being secured for the flight but was treated successfully with aminophyline and hydrocortisone injected intravenously.

The Flying Doctors’ Senior Flight Physician (my humble self) was also in attendance until patient was fully handed over and admitted into the I.C.U. before signing-off after yet another challenging but successful air ambulance Medevac.

An account by;

DR RAJI A. VICTOR MBBS,AFMC,ALS. (Senior flight physician FDN)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

At the Speed of Life: The Importance of Rapid Response


 Chances are very good that if you have never had to use the services of an air ambulance or medical transport you might never have heard of it. In a nutshell, an air ambulance is an aircraft that has had its interior specially configured so it can operate as a mobile hospital complete with intensive care unit. 


Also an air ambulance can be seen as a specially outfitted aircraft that transports injured or sick people in a medical emergency or over distances or terrain impractical for a conventional ground ambulance. 

Like ground ambulances, air ambulances are equipped with medical equipment vital to monitoring and treating injured or ill patients. Common equipment for air ambulances includes medications, ventilators, ECGs and monitoring units, CPR equipment, and stretchers. A medically staffed and equipped air ambulance provides medical care in flight which is referred to as medical evacuation (MEDEVAC)
Air ambulance services have established their usefulness in other countries, but their role in Nigeria is developing slowly.
With the awareness of the importance of air ambulance services, the services will be provided to different types of patients, with different ailments and accidents at different locations. This will bring about the reduction of the mortality rates of the patients in question.
If you ever found yourself in either a remote location or in an area of Nigeria that doesn’t offer the specialized medical emergency care you or your family need, this is when the expertise of an air ambulance comes to the forefront of your mind. 

Timely response via Air ambulance is very important in Nigeria because we have cities that simply don’t have good roads that are good enough to accommodate a traditional ambulance all the time.
Also, our bigger cities seem to be overcrowded which brings about traffic. Traffic can cause the death of a patient in a critical condition. Immediately a patient overwhelms the level of medical care at any healthcare centre, such a patient needs timely response to get to the other healthcare centre that suits his condition. The transfer needs to be done at the speed of life. Every second that leads to a minute matters in this process.

The importance of timely response in Nigeria via Air Ambulance cannot be over emphasized. It cuts the issue of traffic and any form of road transport delay.
Even though the services of air ambulances are offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, it is better to be prepared. Being prepared could be as simple as contacting a potential service provider like “Flying Doctors Nigeria”, speaking with the medical specialist and describing not only your current health issues – if any – but also the location to which you are traveling. Doing this will not only save you precious time in the event of an emergency but it will help you know how long it could take for a provider to reach you in the event of an emergency evacuation. While it is unlikely that you will need a medical evacuation, it’s better to be prepared.