ICATT, India’s first air-ambulance service conducts a real-time HEMS drill at Jakkur Aerodrome

ICATT, India’s pioneer in specialised patient transfer solution and air ambulance service conducted a first-of-its-kind, Live HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) drill recently at Jakkur Aerodrome, Yelahanka.

Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, C N Ashwathanarayan inaugurated the event amidst a live drill – the drill involved an aero-medical rapid response by the ICATT’s HEMS team from Bengaluru to an accident site at Mandya District involving a mother and an infant.

A team of flying doctors and paramedics trained through a specialised training programme called FAM (Fellowship in Aeromedical Sciences) jointly developed by ICATT and its British Training Partner, Global Health Alliance (GHA). The training programme was specifically developed by these organisations, bringing together world experts from the UK and Australia to train Indian doctors and paramedics in this field and convert them into medical commandos. They intervene and save lives in the most hostile of environments with minimal resources at hand.

This team flew by helicopter to the site in Mandya, where they demonstrated their rescue and resuscitation on-site, stabilising the mother and infant, loaded them in the helicopter and immediately flew back to Bengaluru. They were received by Ashwathanarayan at Jakkur Aerodrome. The complete drill took place in real-time. This is the first time in India that such a drill has been conducted where all the emergency services are simultaneously involved – police, fire, aviation and medical services.

Dr Shalini Nilshad and Dr Rahul Singh Sardar, both visionaries in the field of emergency medical care and co-founders of ICATT Air Ambulance Service, are the only two certified doctors trained in HEMS. A major disruption in the emergency care space, HEMS entails fully equipped portable unit that can provide emergency Pre-Hospital Intensive Medical Care to accident victims along highways, semi-urban and rural areas and save their lives.

It’s also equipped to provide more than first aid and medication including advanced ICU equipment and monitoring devices, ventilator, CPR and surgical equipment as well as a team of doctors and nurses trained to treat injuries, trauma and medical emergencies carrying out life-saving interventions.

Talking about the drill, Dr Singh said, “The year 2018 saw road accident deaths in India increase to 1.49 lakh, making India account for more than 11 per cent of global road accident fatalities. While India is a signatory to the Brasilia declaration, intending to reduce road accidents and traffic fatalities by 50 per cent, ICATT is actually taking the first step in making this a reality. The drill at Jakkur reinforces our commitment to save the lives of people in emergency situations. That any patient in need of immediate medical care, will be in safe hands and attended to, by our trained healthcare experts, is something that we take pride in and would like to communicate to people.”

ICATT’s Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) personnel are trained to take action in stabilising vital signs, introducing critical interventions to prevent blood loss and other life-saving measures.

“I appreciate the support of the Karnataka State Government. We hope to bring down the number of casualties from road accidents in India by at least 50 per cent by the year 2022. Air-ambulance teams attending to accident victims are often seen in the USA, UK and other European countries where it’s a much-evolved area of medical practice. I feel the service is just as imperative for India, where access to medical facilities is limited to developed regions. With ICATT’s service, we are about to change that,” said Dr Shalini.

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