By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Offering unparalleled care from the moment they arrive at the patient's beside at the sending hospital, to when they depart the receiving facility -- this is the heart of Angel MedFlight's bedside-to-bedside service. An essential piece of equipment in the company's bedside-to-bedside patient transport is the LifePort Patient Loading Utility System, also known as PLUS.
The PLUS includes an Advanced Life Support base unit, a manual loading system along with an AeroSled stretcher. The adjustable stretchers Angel MedFlight equips its aircraft with have a red frame with grey cushions and a five-point harness that ensure a secure and comfortable ride.
The entire PLUS unit slides into the airplane's floor seating tracks and comes equipped with two bottles of oxygen, regulators and suction outlets. It also has an electrical inverter to provide 110 volts of AC power through three outlets located on the side of the unit. The outlets can be used to power anything from medical equipment to the patient's cell phone. The stretcher is secured onto the PLUS with spring-loaded locking pins.
The PLUS has inputs for oxygen, air and suction. Clinical Logistics Manager Miller says some patients need oxygen blended with air so the PLUS mixes filtered cabin air with the pure bottled oxygen.
Ever wondered how Angel MedFlight crews are able to get a patient on a stretcher onto a Learjet 60 with a stairway door? The patient is placed on the AeroSled stretcher at the sending hospital and is loaded on and off the air ambulance using an intricate system of detachable ramps.
Miller demonstrated the loading process by attaching a ramp bay bridge to the PLUS along with a clip deck and bridge. During the offloading process, the ramp bay bridge allows the stretcher to be turned toward and then out the aircraft door. The AeroSled then moves directly from the aircraft and down the ramps assisted by the flight crewmembers and onto the ground ambulance stretcher. This provides a seamless and comfortable transition from the air ambulance to the ground ambulance gurney.
The bridge is completely universal in that in can attach to any ground ambulance gurney by using Velcro straps. Miller says the entire process of moving the patient from the plane to the ground ambulance takes about 15 minutes.
From bedside to bedside, Angel MedFlight's LifePort Patient Loading Utility System helps to transport its air ambulance patients with the highest degree of safety and comfort.