B’luru firm to train docs to treat patients mid-air

Last Updated 23 January 2019, 18:09 IST

For the first time ever in the country, doctors will be trained in treating patients mid-air and even perform a cesarean procedure or trauma thoracotomy (treatment for stab or bullet injuries).

International Critical Care Air Transfer Team (ICATT), a Bengaluru-based air ambulance service is all set to launch its first batch of training programme FAM (Fellow in Aviation Medicine) from January 26, 2019.

The 12-month long training will prepare the “flying doctors” through the FAM, which is a highly specialised training programme for doctors with career goals in advance emergency medicine, anaesthesia, critical care and trauma care including pre-hospital emergency medicine.

According to ICATT, Fellow in Aviation Medicine is the only dedicated structured training programme for helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS)
as well as critical care air transfers delivered by the best in the world. Speaking about the training programme, Shalini Nalwad, co-founder of ICATT said, There is if the “skill is not taken to the site,” lives are lost on the way reaching the hospitals.

“In India, one person dies every four minutes in a road accident and 80% of them on the National Highway. About 40% of the lives could have been saved, had the ambulance reached on time or the person got treatment at the accident site. In order to cater to these emergencies, there is a need for doctors with specialisation to reach the patient rather than shifting the patients to the nearest hospital,” added Shalini.

She said that at the moment, only primary level of emergency care is given where ambulances reach the patient and shift them to the nearest hospital. But many a time, patients reach the wrong hospital and lose a lot of time in the transit and with that the golden hour.

“Our main focus is secondary care to take “skill to the site” where our team of specialised doctors with expertise in performing procedures from Cesarean to trauma thoracotomy in case of stab or bullet injuries, to the spot. ICATT will have a command centre, which will monitor the entire
rescue operation including sending choppers and selecting the right hospital for the patient to be shifted,” Shalini said

The training is mainly to build a team of doctors from a different stream of medicine who can treat and cater to patients. The first batch of trainee doctors is from India as well as abroad who would also be taken abroad for specialised training. Incidentally, the ICAAT ambulance recently air-lifted Siddaganga seer Shivakumar Swamiji to Chennai.

(Published 23 January 2019, 17:35 IST)

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