Last week we were able to prove that we are literally there for our patients in all weathers. A Mongolian diplomat was in poor health and was in a hospital in the state capital Ulan Bator. Since his relatives felt that the medical care there was not adequate, he was to be transferred in an ambulance plane to Seoul, South Korea.
Keeping a cool head in icy temperatures
For us, such a patient transfer would normally be routine. But the tough winter in Mongolia required some special measures. After all, outside temperatures of -30 °C were forecast for the day of the flight. This intense cold would have represented a further health risk for the patient.
So, for this flight, we did not take charge of the patient on the exposed airport apron. Instead, our ambulance aircraft, a Cessna Citation 560 XLS, parked in a closed hangar in much more comfortable conditions. The ambulance that had previously picked up the patient from the hospital drove to the hangar and our flight doctor took charge of him.
Even the aircraft had to be protected from the effects of the icy cold. Therefore, the airport staff carried out thorough de-icing of the aircraft. It was sprayed with chemicals, thereby freeing it from ice and snow. If ice had built up on the plane, a safe flight would not have been possible.
Safe flight to South Korea
Immediately afterwards, our ambulance jet took off. During the flight, our patient received continuous care from the medical crew. Two relatives were also able to accompany the diplomat in the spacious Cessna to provide additional emotional support. After a three-hour flight, our plane landed safely at Incheon International Airport in Seoul. There, at much more pleasant temperatures, we transferred the patient to the waiting ambulance which took him safely to the receiving hospital.
The patient is now being treated by the expert doctors in Seoul and his family took the time to thank us warmly for the successful patient transfer. All the best to everyone involved!
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