Yesterday evening, a 76-year-old man suffered a heart attack in Matarangi. The man was initially transported to Coromandel township, where he was attended to by local doctor. Further urgent medical treatment was required and due to the patient’s time-critical condition, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was dispatched. Poor weather on the Peninsula looked set to hamper the rescue helicopter’s efforts to reach Coromandel, so it was decided the patient would be transported to Thames Hospital to meet the rescue helicopter, and then airlifted to Waikato Hospital.
Upon arrival at Thames Hospital via Instrument Flight, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew determined the weather was fine enough to continue, further reducing the delay in getting the patient to the Cardiac Catheterisation Unit at Waikato Hospital.
The ambulance met the rescue helicopter at the Waikawau Boat Ramp, south of Coromandel, where the patient was transferred into the chopper.
This case is an excellent example of the time-saving benefit of having a rescue helicopter service; the road ambulance had only traveled 30 kilometres before being met by the Hamilton-based rescue helicopter.
About Philips Search and Rescue Trust
Philips Search & Rescue Trust (PSRT) is the charity responsible for the North Island’s largest pool of community helicopters. PSRT was founded in 1985 after an endowment by Philips New Zealand Limited to mark a light aircraft accident near Turangi in which two Philips personnel lost their lives.
Encompassing six rescue helicopters and two fixed-wing planes, the service provides air health and rescue services free of charge to the public on a no-fault basis. The rapid response is powered by an expert crew of pilots, paramedics, flight nurses, Police and volunteer crewmen. In a life and death situation it is this speed and agility that can make all the difference, with patients able to receive medical treatment whilst en route to a medical facility.
Philips Search & Rescue Trust operates:
Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Waikato King Country
Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter, Bay of Plenty
BayTrust Rescue Helicopter, Rotorua – Bay of Plenty
Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, Taupo – Central Plateau
Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter, Manawatu – Whanganui
Westpac Air Ambulance (Fixed wing), Nationwide