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Air Methods

Aeromedical Services

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Air Methods adds EC145 ambulance
Officials from both The Christ Hospital and Air Methods recognise the growing need for an air medical service that can respond to emergencies rapidly and determined the need for the additional dedicated helicopter.
Critically ill patients will benefit from a dedicated helicopter operated by Air Methods.

The Christ Hospital Health Network is partnering with Christ LifeFlight, a subsidiary of Air Methods, to add a new dedicated rotor wing helicopter for the Christ Hospital. The new base will support the care and transportation of critically ill and injured patients throughout the region. An EC145 will be based at Lunken Field in Cincinnati.

Along with the key medical personnel, Christ LifeFlight provides the Christ Hospital with highly trained and certified pilots and mechanics to ensure the safe arrival of all patients. Air Methods operates and maintains the helicopter out of Christ LifeFlight.

“We are consistently improving ways that we can support our patients with the best possible air medical and emergency care options,” says Timothy D. Smith, director of the cardiovascular ICU and ECMO programme. “Christ LifeFlight's commitment is a testament to everyone's belief that this is a critical service. These aircraft provide our citizens with the best opportunity to reach a tertiary centre to help reduce response times during life threatening emergencies.”

Officials from both The Christ Hospital and Air Methods recognise the growing need for an air medical service that can respond to emergencies in the area more rapidly and determined the need for the additional dedicated helicopter. At a time when more than 85 million Americans live more than an hour drive from Level-1 or -2 trauma centres, there is an increasing demand for air medical services to ensure that patients have access to necessary care centres. With the continued consolidation of hospitals and the trend towards centres with specialised heart or neurological care, the clinical support and speed of missions are critical to giving patients the best possible outcomes.

“Our partnership with The Christ Hospital Health Network furthers our mission to provide critical care in the air for anyone who needs us,” states William Dukes, regional sales director at Air Methods. “Between our industry-leading service and The Christ Hospital Health Network's care, we know that this partnership will continue to grow so that we can continue to provide the Cincinnati area with the services it needs.”

The cardiovascular intensive care unit at The Christ Hospital offers technology typically seen at only large, quaternary academic medical centres. The same could be said of its physician leadership, nursing staff and clinical expertise.

Physicians in all major specialties work together in the 16-bed Richard T. Farmer Family cardiovascular ICU to provide care for the region's most severely ill heart and vascular patients. The cardiovascular ICU's case mix acuity index, which is consistently above 6.0, is the highest in the region and a testament to the team's high level of expertise.

The shock programme and cardiovascular ICU provide complex therapeutics, including:

- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), including veno-arterial ECMO for patients with cardiogenic shock, and veno-venous ECMO

- Advanced mechanical ventilation

- Surgical and percutaneous Impella heart pumps

- TandemHeart, which provides short-term circulatory support

- Extracorporeal cardiovascular resuscitation (ECPR) for people with active cardiac arrests

The hospital's ECMO programme is particularly robust, with the 24/7 multidisciplinary team offering complex decision-making surrounding the initiation of mechanical support, as well as the complex management that follows. ECMO is offered as a bridge to recovery and/or advanced therapies, such as left ventricular assist devices or, in extreme cases, cardiac transplant.

“Critical care cardiology is a rapidly evolving field, and our goal is to provide our patients with every advancement in a comprehensive ICU environment,” Smith explains. “The Christ Hospital has the region's largest mechanical cardiac support and structural heart programmes, so having a state-of-the-art cardiovascular ICU to support those patients is essential but having this new this new partnership and services is essential in getting them to the care they need."

Meanwhile North American Partners in Anaesthesia (NAPA), one of the leading single-specialty anaesthesia and perioperative management companies in the U.S., and Air Methods, the leading air medical service company, announced today they have partnered to provide 34 portable, critical-care ventilators to New York's largest healthcare system. Ventilator shortages have been a major obstacle to saving lives in New York, which has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the US.

Upon learning of these shortages, Air Methods clinical teams from air medical bases across the country quickly pulled together 34 spare ventilators and shipped them to New York, where NAPA delivered them to the health system.

“This was a fantastic team effort, from the support of our clinical leadership to our supply chain teammates getting the ventilators quickly out the door for delivery to those patients most in need,” said Air Methods CEO JaeLynn Williams. “And working with NAPA is just another example of how this country and the medical community are working together to fulfil our mission of caring for and protecting our patients.”

Air Methods operates more than 300 bases serving 48 states, where its aircraft function as flying intensive care units around the clock. Its 4,500 team members care for and transport more than 70,000 patients every year, with the industry transporting over 400,000 patients.

“During times of crises, we all must think outside the box and pursue every opportunity and relationship to support our communities and our country,” said John F. Di Capua, MD, CEO of NAPA. “We are proud to partner with Air Methods as both our companies continue to play an expanded role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful to Air Methods for gathering the ventilators to support New York and encourage others to source solutions to combat this global crisis and follow the example set by Air Methods.”

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