LOCAL emergency medicine specialist, Dr Chris Cheeseman, will be one of the first doctors in Australia to fly to patients in need of emergency medical care in CareFlight’s new world-class helicopter.
Launched at Sydney Opera House last week, the Airbus H145 is one of the most advanced aeromedical helicopters in the world and the first aeromedical aircraft of its kind in Australia.
The helicopter will be housed at CareFlight’s Westmead base and will carry an emergency specialist doctor and NSW Ambulance intensive care paramedic to the scene of accidents where the difference between life and death can be measured in minutes.
Research completed both in Australia and internationally provides clear evidence that the faster the patient gets medical treatment from a specialist doctor, the better the outcome.
The new helicopter gets the medical crew to the scene of trauma fast so they can immediately assess and commence clinical treatment. For patients who are critically injured or ill this gives patients the best chance of survival.
“This is one of the best pre-hospital helicopters in the world. It has a remarkably fast start-up and we can lift off in less than three minutes of an activation call,” explains Dr Cheeseman.
“Not only is it fast (it can reach speeds of up to 250km/hr) but with its advanced avionics and safety features means we can land in small and uneven landing sites as close to the patient as possible.”
Having worked as an emergency medicine specialist at Westmead Hospital’s emergency department for the last 10 years and CareFlight for seven years, Dr Cheeseman brings a high level of expertise and experience to his role as Medical Director of CareFlight’s Rapid Response Helicopter Service.
“During any given shift with CareFlight, I might have to put a patient under anaesthetic or use an ultrasound to diagnose internal injuries. We’re even equipped to give blood and plasma transfusions,” says Dr Cheeseman.
“Working on a helicopter I work alongside a highly trained and specialised NSW Ambulance paramedic. I have to use my resourcefulness to provide the best level of care for my patient.”
CareFlight has provided a high level of emergency care to people of greater Sydney for 35 years. With the new helicopter, together with experienced doctors like Dr Chris Cheeseman, access to lifesaving treatment has just got even better.