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J Emerg Med. 2009 May;36(4):363-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2008.02.057. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Aeromedical retrieval for critical clinical conditions: 12 years of experience with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Queensland, Australia.

Author information

1
Research Unit, Royal Flying Doctor Service (Qld Section), Queensland Section, Edgehill, Queensland, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has been providing emergency aeromedical retrieval services in Queensland, Australia since 1928.

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

This article details service and delivery structure plus a description of 12 years of experience managing patients with critical clinical conditions.

METHODS:

This study is a retrospective longitudinal analysis of the demographics and diagnostic classification of all cases of critical clinical severity conducted March 1, 1994 through February 28, 2006.

RESULTS:

There were a total of 72,054 retrievals, with trauma the single most common clinical diagnosis. There were 4259 retrievals for patients with critical clinical conditions (6%). The most common categories of clinical diagnosis were: trauma with 1493 (35.1%), respiratory diseases 1386 (32.5%), and circulatory diseases 908 (21.3%). Trauma accounted for 69 of the 90 (77%) primary retrievals from locations without health care facilities. The death rate in transport was 1%, with most of these involving males from locations with minimal health facilities.

CONCLUSION:

The RFDS in Queensland is an effective provider of fixed-wing aeromedical retrieval services, operating in an unusual environment with vast distances, low population density, and a high number of Indigenous people.

PMID:
18814993
DOI:
10.1016/j.jemermed.2008.02.057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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