An emergency aero-medical transfer of a critically ill infant to Cape Town was successfully carried out at the weekend from St Helena Airport – the first ever Air Medevac from St Helena.
A Falcon 20 air ambulance, crewed by emergency response specialists ER24 and operated by Guardian Air of South Africa, arrived at St Helena Airport from Namibia on Friday 3 June 2016 at 13.57hrs local time – experiencing a smooth landing.
On arrival at the General Hospital in Jamestown, the specialist medical crew – Dr Khumeshan Moodley and Flight Paramedic Alastair Lithgow – immediately engaged in patient care and assessment. For technical and practical reasons, the aircraft remained overnight, departing St Helena for Cape Town at 07.34hrs on Saturday morning, 4 June 2016.
On arrival at Cape Town International Airport at 13.40hrs SA time, the child and mother were immediately transferred to Vincent Pallotti Hospital, arriving at around 14.00hrs.
Acting Director of Health Helen Lawrence said:
“As a Directorate we are immensely thankful that this medical evacuation mission has successfully concluded with baby and mother safely at the Vincent Pallotti Hospital – where the baby is receiving all necessary medical care.
“I’d like to thank ER24 for carrying out the mission and pay tribute to our Health Directorate team – doctors, nurses, midwives, medical laboratory and pharmacy staff, ambulance drivers and other staff – whose professionalism and commitment was outstanding.”
Dr Robyn Holgate, ER24’s Chief Medical Officer, commented:
“We have an excellent aero-medical team and we are proud that we were able, not only to help a critically ill baby, but also to support the St Helena Government and be part of the Island’s history. We continuously monitored our flight team and patient from our ER24 Emergency Contact Centre in Johannesburg and knew that things were going according to plan.”
Ilze Mibert, ER24’s Global Assist Fixed Wing Coordinator, added:
“It was a long trip but the baby is doing well – the baby and mother was safely handed over to the receiving Doctor at the Hospital.”
A procurement exercise is currently underway by SHG to secure a regular provider of Air Medevac flights to and from St Helena.
The public is asked to respect the family’s privacy at this time.