MU Health Care’s Staff For Life Helicopter Service -360 Video


Joan can you talk about who started the helicopter
service, when it was started, and the motivation behind the whole thing Sure, in 1982, November of 1982 is when this
program started, we were the third in the state, but it was still pretty new and the
reason that we got our program started is because of the vision and foresight of Dr.
Frank Mitchell, who was a trauma surgeon at University Hospital for many, many years. He was a surgeon in the military and this
was post World War II around the Korean War era and he saw a lot of soldiers that were
brought in wounded and saw firsthand that if they were able to get from the field to
an operating room quickly that lives were saved. The primary purpose being that they needed
the bleeding stopped so he and a bunch of his cohorts determined that if this worked
so well in the military and by that time it was determined that it really was working
why wouldn’t it work in the civilian world, so Dr. Mitchell established a trial program
with highway patrol pre 1982 and it worked so well that it was determined that we should
have a permanent aircraft at University Hospital. Kyle I’ll start with you today, how many helicopters
are in the Staff for Life Helicopter Service and where are they located? We have three in the program, one based here
at the University, Staff 1, Staff 2 based at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach and
Staff 3 is located in Lamont, Missouri over between Sedalia and Whiteman Air
Force Base. How long does it take to get from the lake
up to Columbia, Columbia to Jeff City some of the areas around here. From the lake to Columbia is about a 30 minute
flight, based on the winds of course and Jeff City is right about in the middle of that so about 15 minutes. Who owns the helicopters and who provides
the medical staffing? I work for Air Methods out of Englewood, Colorado. We’re contracted with the university and the medical crew the nurses and medics are employed by the University Hospital. So you guys provide both inter-facility and
scene flights can you talk about the challenges of a scene flight, the things you need to
take into account and what makes them different from an inter-facility flight. Sure, pretty much kind of the unknown on what
the landing zone is going to be like we get information from the volunteer fire departments
that are throughout the state, they do get landing zone training so that they are knowledgable
about how to set up a landing zone for us and how to communicate with us once we get
there to tell us what the obstacles and hazards are and thats pretty much it as far as the
difference between scene flights and inter-hospital transfers. Inter-hospital transfers we kind of already
know what the hazards are in the hospital helipads so that the biggest difference. Kyle what’s the best part about being a pilot
with a medical helicopter service? If you ask any pilot they are probably going
to say its flying since we love to fly, um but the with the medical service its just
an added bonus that we know that we’re out there doing our part to help people that are
in need. How has the helicopter service and just in general medical helicopters how have they evolved in the 35 years since Dr. Mitchell started the program in the early 80’s? Yea great question, so when we started it was a one pilot one nurse deal Pretty much across the country so you could imagine one nurse trying to deliver care that now two people do so that was I think one of the biggest changes over the years is that we added a paramedic which is absolutely the best blend that you could get. The nurse brings emergency room and ICU perspectives to patient care where the paramedic provides a field perspective so these two working together you’ve got it covered In the beginning I think we were similar to just a flying ambulance we carried much of the same equipment that ambulances did and what we offered primarily was speed, then we started to just advance in technology and the things that we put on board and I felt like probably in the 90’s, the early 2000’s we were well on our way to being a little flying ER, but today because of the technology advancements I believe that we are really more like a flying ICU. We deliver critical care in the air that just did not happen when this all started. So we’re going to go out to the Columbia Airport, we’re going to land and we will show you guys what it looks like in the back of the helicopter on our way back to University Hospital. So Kyle if you want to talk about why we’re going to go into sterile cockpit here for a second. Yea, we have a general rule as we’re working as a crew whenever we’re taking off and landing take off and landing is the most critical part of our flight so we need to be diligent on looking outside of the aircraft and talking as a crew on only what we are looking at so that we’re not distracted in any other way so that we can call out all of the obstacles that we can see, and we do that all the way up until our cruise altitude which normally doesn’t take very long, but those are the critical times and we’re talking nothing about what’s happening outside of the aircraft. Aircom, Staff 1 down at the Columbia Airport Staff 1 landed, Columbia Airport 1538 So Joan can you talk us through the capabilities of the medical care area of the helicopter here Sure, so this is a cabin built for one patient this is the litter that the patient would be on the head of the patient right here , the feet obviously down there, we have pretty much access to the entire person if we need to have it but generally speaking we have a patient packaged pretty well before we load them. Chris is in the airway seat, that’s what we call the airway seat so if during flight the patient has an emergency and requires an airway then Chris is in good position to place that What are some of the differentiators between our helicopter and some of the other ones in the area? I think probably there are several thing that set us apart from others and one of them is the fact that we carry blood. For years now we’ve been carrying two units of O negative blood onboard every aircraft that we have and this is a universal donor anybody can receive 0 negative, on this aircraft we also carry plasma which is extremely unique, that’s a privilege we have just because we are at the University of Missouri so blood absolutely saves lives people that are hemorrhaging and don’t have time that are just bleeding out that you need to get to the operating room we can help get them there and keep them alive until they get there we also carry a little mini lab machine I guess for lack of a better way to describe it this is called an Epoc and we can take a sample of a patients blood we put a little stick with the drop of blood in this machine and turn it on, it does its magic and then within, what would you say Chris, probably about a minute and a half to two minutes we’ll get all of the pertinent lab information we need to guide our care, APG analysis, electrolytes, and of course measuring their hemoglobin and chromatic, which guides all of the care and treatments for someone severely injured or sick. I think I will show you this ultrasound, because this is something that I don’t know of any other program in our area that is doing this, but this machine is an ultrasound machine and it actually gives us the ability to put a wand on a persons chest and we can tell if the lung is down and if we need to do something to bring a lung back up, we can look at blood flow to the heart to determine if the heart is still beating we can look at their inner organs, their spleen or their kidneys or whatever to determine if there is bleeding internally so its just another tool to help us to determine what kind of care they need and then to also alert the hospital when we’re coming in, they might need to be ready to go to the operating room Chris, do you want to talk about the jump bag. Our jump bag, or red bag or primary bag, its got many names, but its got all of the lifesaving pertinent instruments onboard we need either at the bedside or out in the field on a scene response its got our intubation equipment inside of it some of the decompression devices that Joan had mentioned catheters of different sizes its kind of all of those lifesaving measures for your ABC’s as they call them so anything protect and save the airway, help with breathing and improve circulation Justin, I want to point out the ventilator, this is an advanced ventilator that we use for patients that need help with their breathing and so if we determine they just aren’t breathing well on their own then like Chris was talking about we put a breathing tube in, it attaches to this tube turn the ventilator on and we put settings on it to give them the right amount of oxygen in the timing that they need it but it’s a great tool to have. This is our cardiac monitor that we use to determine what the patients heart is doing weather we need to give them some electricity to get them out of a lethal rhythm or use a pacemaker to get the rhythm on a regular basis Sterile cockpit time

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