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Chopper gets blood monitor

Mark Volling and Dr Allen MacKillop are thrilled about the chopper's new high-flying equipment.
Mark Volling and Dr Allen MacKillop are thrilled about the chopper's new high-flying equipment. John Gass

THE RACQ Careflight Rescue Helicopter Service has only had a piece of pre-hospital diagnostic equipment for two weeks, but it has already helped to save two lives.

The state-of-the-art blood gas monitor is worth $10,000 and is no bigger than a home phone.

It can provide medical crews with results what were only previously available through a pathology lab, such as the oxidation level of the blood.

Alere ANZPI Cardiology and Hospital product manager Jacobus Meulendijks said the machine could deliver 15 critical results in as little as 38 seconds.

"This is one of our latest developments at Alere," Mr Meulendijks said.

The company specialises in providing pre-hospital monitoring equipment that services like Careflight rely on to help doctors and paramedics in emergency situations.

Careflight chief medical officer Allan MacKillop said the offer to donate the equipment came from the medical company and it was a pleasant surprise.

"I have wanted this device for the last six or seven years," Dr MacKillop said.

"It was definitely worth the wait."

He said the blood gas monitor has already been used on critical patients being flown from Papua New Guinea and Fiji in the past two weeks.

As well as perfect in emergency situations the device helps when Careflight evacuates people from countries that do not have pathology service.

Dr MacKillop said before this device was available in many cases the only way to assess a patient's condition was through clinical methods.

Topics:  blood gas monitor, health, racq careflight rescue helicopter


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