How does Helivac establish what constitutes a HEMS evacuation?
In order to make the process a little simpler to understand, the list below details the medical criteria that necessitate emergency evacuation of patients by helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS):
- Severe penetrating trauma to the head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis
- Blunt trauma to the chest, abdomen or pelvis with a high index of suspicion for major internal bleeding
- Threatened limbs or proximal long bone amputations
- Spinal injury with neurological deficit
- Head injury with a GCS of no less than 6/15
- Stroke patients requiring rapid access to a stroke centre
- Compromised cardiac patients with a time to hospital exceeding 30 minutes
- Acute anaphylaxis with airway compromise or no availability of ALS
- Hypothermia – core temperature less than 35˚C
- Hyperthermia – core temperature greater than 40˚C
- Burns: Facial burns with inhalation injury
- Children with greater than 20% BSA injury
- Adults with greater than 30% BSA injury
- Haemodynamically unstable patient despite intervention or with no availability of ALS
- Respiratory difficulties despite intervention or with no availability of ALS
- Where specialist medical expertise of the flight crew is required
- Near drowning
- Long bone fractures, including neck of femur with prolonged time to hospital
- Hip dislocations due to severe trauma
- Prolonged entrapment (or predicted >45 minutes)
- Severe mechanism of injury with time to appropriate facility exceeding 30 minutes.
When do Logistical guidelines form a part of that decision?
- Where access to the accident scene by road is limited or time delay to definitive care is deemed to be detrimental in light of the presenting medical condition/injury
- Major incidents where resources are limited and additional resources are urgently required.