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Rescuing a Patient with Severe Pneumonia
Source: Posted Date:09-03-2018

"Though we had the ability to bring the dying back to life, but we were too far away. With the help of an airplane, we managed to avert the crisis and cure the disease." As a member of the China National Air Medical Rescue Team, I participated in an air transport mission in the early morning of August 22, 2018, that is, to transfer a patient with severe pneumonia supported by ECMO from Hohhot to Beijing for further treatment via a fixed-wing aircraft.
On August 21, 2018, the No. 1 Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia Medical University, a joint unit of CJFH, sent a transfer request: A man fell into the well where he had been working in a faint, which caused aspiration pneumonia. The patient could not maintain blood oxygen saturation by ventilator and his life was in danger. After receiving the notification, Zhan Qingyuan, director of the No. 4 team of the Respiratory Department, offered an immediate treatment guide to the doctors on the spot and sent an ECMO medical team led by doctor Gu Sichao over there for an ECMO treatment. Meanwhile, CJFH joined hands with 999 Medical Emergency Center and sent an aviation intensive medical rescue team to transfer the patient to Beijing for treatment.
Upon receiving the air transfer mission, 999 immediately organized the aviation intensive medical rescue team led by ICU to rush to the rescue. After the team members checked their equipment, they converged with the staff of CJFH at 12:00 am and hurried to the Capital International Airport together.
The members from the two teams arrived at the Capital International Airport at 12:35 am. As the plane had just completed a long-haul medical transfer mission from Singapore, we met the medical workers and flight crew of that mission while waiting for our flight and we exchanged experiences and lessons from the transfer missions. After encouraging each other, the team for this mission boarded at 1:25 am and began to check the equipment.
After all the preparations were completed, all the team members took their seats. The captain announced to take off. With the roar of the engine, the team officially set out for Hohhot.
After an hour’s flight, the plane landed at the Hohhot Airport at 3:13 am. Upon arrival, team members immediately familiarized themselves with the local situation, fixed the professional transport equipment on the local ambulance and put it through a preliminary test. After we made sure that everything was working properly, we immediately set out to the Intensive Care Unit of the No. 1 Affiliated Hospital of Inner Mongolia Medical University.
When we arrived at the ICU, the patient's family had been waiting there for a long time. They led the team into the ICU.
After the whole team arrived, the patient was re-evaluated to ensure the safety of the patient and the crew.
4:40 am: We completed the transfer of all the medical equipment and instruments of the patient and started to transfer the patient.
5:10 am: All left for the Hohhot Airport.
5:54 am: By the time we got to the plane again, the day was about to break.
After finishing the preparations, we fixed the patient and ourselves in place at 6:20 am, and the plane took off at 6:30 am and flied to Beijing. After 52 minutes, the plane arrived at the Capital International Airport. The patient was then transported to the No. 4 team of the Respiratory Department of CJFH via a 999 professional air rescue transfer vehicle for treatment.
It took us 7 hours and 22 minutes to finish the task, from receiving the task instruction to completing the transfer. CJFH and 999 cooperated with each other harmoniously, fully combined their respective advantages and strengths, and thus provided a reliable guarantee for the successful transport of the patient.
After completing this task, Chen Desheng and Li Tao, doctors from Surgical Intensive Care Department of CJFH, took on another international air medical transfer task on Aug. 22, that is, to transfer a patient from Ulan Bator to Seoul, South Korea. This task provided an opportunity to train the ability of medical staff from both sides to deal with urgent and serious diseases, which would provide a strong support for the construction of the China National Aviation Medical Rescue Team. We hope that the deepening cooperation between the two sides will serve the people of both countries better and help realize the Chinese Dream.