LAR's flying intensive care stations possess within a very small area all the medication and equipment which is required for optimum patient care.
The medical equipment for rescue operations and in particular for air rescue are designed for considerable stresses and strains and have to meet far higher demands than is the case with the apparatus in hospitals. For use in air rescue, materials and equipment have to be smaller and lighter but also just as efficient as the types of equipment used on the ground for fixed use. All apparatus including mountings and fixings have to be specially tested and certificated for flight operation. In addition there has to be two of all pieces of medical equipment available on board the rescue helicopters and ambulance aircraft. This is to ensure that if during a long flight in an air ambulance jet a piece of medical equipment were to fail then a replacement unit can be connected immediately in order not to endanger the safety of the patient. Moreover the medical equipment must be particularly robust since it is taken in all weathers outside to the patient and then returned with him to the helicopter or air ambulance jet.
It is not only the purchase of new equipment which is therefore very cost and time intensive. Just the provision and regular replacement alone of medical equipment costs Air Rescue around 100,000 Euros per annum. Amongst these for example is the fact that the syringe pumps in all helicopters and jets have to be replaced regularly. On top of these ongoing costs is also added the expense for the procurement of newly developed medical equipment.
For example, since 2010 LAR's medical equipment has been complemented by the portable Primedic HandyScan ultrasonic unit.
Despite its small size, this tiny handy ultrasonic unit delivers very high quality images. Ultrasonic technology can be of enormous importance in emergency medical treatment. By sensing four defined examination areas on the body with the ultrasonic unit it can be established within seconds whether there is free flow of fluids between the organs. After an accident this could be a clear indication of internal injuries and bleeding in the abdomen. The LAR team informs the destination clinic during the flight about the results of the examinations. The hospital therefore has the opportunity to react early and, as an example, to coordinate the preparations for an emergency operation if required. The opportunities in modern emergency medical treatment for internal examination mean above all an invaluable gaining in time for the patient.
You can download an overview of LAR's medical equipment here.