Home Local News MERCYONE AIR MED HAS BEEN FLYING CRITICAL CARE PATIENTS FOR 35 YEARS

MERCYONE AIR MED HAS BEEN FLYING CRITICAL CARE PATIENTS FOR 35 YEARS

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THIS MONTH MARKS 35 YEARS SINCE MERCYONE AIR MED LAUNCHED A NEW CHAPTER IN TRAUMA AND EMERGENCY CARE WITH A HELICOPTER FIRST LIFTING OFF FROM DES MOINES IN NOVEMBER 1986.

THAT LED TO INTEGRATING WITH HELICOPTER PROGRAMS DEVELOPED AT MERCY HOSPITALS IN SIOUX CITY AND MASON CITY WHERE TODAY THERE ARE FIVE HELICOPTERS FLYING PATIENTS THROUGHOUT IOWA, TRANSPORTING NEARLY 1,500 PATIENTS A YEAR.

NIK GONZALES HAS LED SIOUX CITY’S AIR MED PROGRAM FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS AND SAYS THEIR BELL 429 HELICOPTER IS THE LARGEST AND FASTEST COPTER IN THE STATE:

COPTER1 OC……..WE GOT IT. :14

RECENTLY, THE FLIGHT TEAM DEVELOPED ECMO CARE, A NEW PROCESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC TO TRANSPORT PATIENTS NEEDING EXTERNAL LIFE SUPPORT TO BREATHE.

ECMO CARE INVOLVES A SURGICALLY-ATTACHED DEVICE THAT REMOVES AND OXYGENATES A PATIENT’S BLOOD WHILE A PATIENT IS TRANSPORTED.

GONZALES SAYS THE PANDEMIC STILL AFFECTS AIR CARE MISSIONS:

COPTER2 OC……….20 YEAR CAREER. :14

THE HELICOPTER HAS A THREE PERSON CREW AND A WIDE FLIGHT RANGE:

COPTER3 OC…………..CEDAR RAPIDS. :27

SPEED IS CRITICAL IN GETTING PATIENTS BACK TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THEIR EMERGENCY CARE.

PILOT DAVE FLORES SAYS IN THE SPRING THE CREW AND HELICOPTER WILL BE ABLE TO TRANSITION FROM JUST VISUAL SIGHTINGS TO INSTRUMENT LANDINGS:

COPTER4 OC…….GET INTO. :25

HEART CARE HAS EVOLVED SO PATIENTS CAN BE FLOWN AND HAVE BLOCKED ARTERIES OPENED IN LESS THAN 90 MINUTES.