Ventilated Covid-19 patients airlifted to Southampton by Air Ambulance

The transfer took place over the weekend to relieve pressure on the Intensive Care Unit at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight

View from inside Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

On Sunday, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) assisted in the transfer of a ventilated Covid-19 positive patient from St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight, to University Hospital Southampton (UHS), to relieve pressure in the hospital’s heavily stretched Intensive Care Unit.

The transfer was done in close collaboration with the UK Search and Rescue (UKSAR) AW189 Helicopter, based at Lee-on-the-Solent. 

Stepping up to support their NHS colleagues
As Covid-19 infections on the Island have continued to rise, doctors, specialist paramedics and pilots of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Critical Care Teams stepped in to support their NHS colleagues.

The Air Ambulance charity used its aircraft, Helimed 56, to deploy the team to the Island and were then retrieved in the Coast Guard’s AW189 to fly the patient to UHS.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance in the sky

Lochrane: Struggle is far from over
HIOWAA CEO, Alex Lochrane said,

“We’re in this struggle together, a struggle that is far from over. It is our duty to do everything we can to ensure the safety of residents on the Island and that they get the necessary critical care during this pandemic.

“We are prepared to do whatever it takes in this continued challenge against Covid-19.

“I can assure everyone within our region and beyond: if you are in serious need of our specialist medical skills, no matter who you are, we will do everything we can to be there for you.”

Fully prepared
As Covid-19 infections started to rise before Christmas, the life-saving Charity had been preparing to work once again with both RAF and UKSAR aircraft, after very successful collaborations, in Summer 2020, to evacuate critically-ill patients from both the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands, to hospitals on the mainland.

Following a rigorous training exercise with the RAF at the Charity’s Airbase last year, the HIOWAA Critical Care Teams are well practiced at embarking critically ill, ventilated patients onto RAF Chinook, Puma and Royal Navy Merlin aircraft. This collaboration was also successfully extended to work with UKSAR rescue helicopters, a collaboration that proved invaluable last weekend.

Additional work on the ground
As well as providing life-saving emergency treatment in the community, throughout 2020 a number of the HIOWAA specialist paramedics worked additional shifts in the UHS emergency department, offering much-needed support to their front line medical colleagues. As then, the Charity’s teams remain ready to provide support and their specialist skills should they be required.

In addition to supporting this new and vital transfer work, the Charity’s Critical Care Teams continue to respond to seriously ill and injured patients across the region with both the Air Ambulance and Critical Care Team Vehicles remaining operational, seven days a week, day and night.


News shared by Andrew on behalf of Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. Ed

Wednesday, 20th January, 2021 12:07pm

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Filed under: Air Ambulance, Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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