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3 / Pediatric ECMO evac: immediate response for a critical case!

Wednesday Feb 8th, 2017, at 8.00 pm Medic Air received a first call from pediatric ICU Trousseau University Hospital in Paris regarding the setup of a MEDEVAC for a little girl needing ECMO support from Limoges to Paris (Approx. 400 km distance)

Patient was 9 months old, and was suffering from acute respiratory distress on pneumopathy. Respiratory/circulatory external substitution by ECMO (External Circulatory Membrane Oxygenation) was therefore required. Moving the highly specialized surgery and intensive care teams from Paris to Limoges Hospital on time to set up ECMO on this young patient was the first challenge.

Since our Piaggio Avanti 2 AA aircraft was not available at the time (due to technical stop), a Beech King 350 AA was used as backup for an immediate night departure, and less one hour later, Medic’Air International obtained approval from the local EMS dispatching (SAMU 87) to start mission.

The SAMU 87’s initial plan was a rotor-wing evacuation with Fire Depart. EC 145 helicopter departing from Paris or Bordeaux, but due to bad weather conditions on night time, the helicopter flight had to be cancelled by SAMU Authority.

One hour after the « green light » our joint teams (pediatric surgeon, pediatric intensivist physician, pediatric nurse for UMAC -Mobile Unit Circulatory Assistance- and Medic’Air flying nurse with more than 150 kg of medical equipment) were boarding at Paris Le Bourget Airport.

After a short flight of 40 minutes, joint teams arrived at Limoges Hospital at 1.20 am. After more than an hour trying to fully optimize the patient’s ventilation, without success, surgeon started to set up cannulas for ECMO at 3.00 am.

At 5.00 am patient was stabilized under ECMO device, ready to move safely (scanning: 0.5l/min, flow: 580ml/min, speed : 4500 rpm).

At 8.00 am Air Ambulance took off from Limoges airport back to Paris, and 40 minutes later, young patient was entrusted to ICU Mobile pediatric team (SMUR Robert Debré) on tarmac and was taken to Trousseau Hospital without any incident.
More than three weeks after, patient’s condition is still improving. ECM0 has been removed a couple weeks after arrival at Trousseau Hospital, and should be taken back to Limoges soon.

Every day and night, Medic’Air teams are on the frontline to find the solutions for acute patients’ management. Available to take off from Paris by Air ambulance within two hours for any destinations with our ICU duty team, Medic’Air International also works in close relationship with vascular surgeons and UMAC teams to provide the best solutions to set up ECMO before evacuation of a non-fit-to-fly patient.

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