1:10am Outback Evacuation – 24 hours with the Flying Doctor

Date published

02 Nov 2018

The day starts at 1:10am when an aeromedical crew from Alice Springs Base returns on a 450-kilometre flight from Kintore with a 32-year-old female experiencing labour complications.

When time is of the essence a RFDS 'flying intensive care unit' is the quickest way to access acute medical care, in this case an 80-minute flight over an eight-hour drive on sealed and unsealed roads.

It was the first of six outback evacuations performed by crews at Alice Springs Base on this day, which was just like any other as the busiest ‘traditional’ RFDS base in the country.

More than 1,900 outback evacuations are performed around the clock from Alice Springs Base every year.

This ever-increasing workload from Alice Springs was complemented by a further 1,045 inter-hospital transfers of patients between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs Hospitals, or further afield to major hospitals in Darwin and Adelaide for higher levels of care.

On this day a young male with a severe neck trauma was transferred in the early hours of that morning from Tennant Creek Hospital to Royal Darwin Hospital. The case mix for outback evacuations is varied, equally the patient population.

Today crews also airlifted a trauma patient from a station airstrip following a motorcycle accident, an adult female from Yuendumu Community suffering respiratory distress, and a 60-year old tourist with severe abdominal pain from Yulara Resort – all to the Alice Springs Hospital for specialist medical treatment.

DID YOU KNOW? The RFDS airlifts over 9,700 patients in South Australia and the Northern Territory every year - that's 26 patients every day!

Come ride with us for the day – click the button below to see what happened next.

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