One of South Africa’s leading emergency medical services providers, Netcare 911, recently launched the India02 (IND02) emergency vehicle, an intensive care ambulance, in Gauteng.
According to Craig Grindell, chief operating officer of Netcare 911, “This emergency vehicle is a specially configured, mobile intensive care unit (ICU) that is specifically equipped to provide transport to critically ill patients who are in need of the highest level of monitoring and support. The service is provided by advanced life support paramedics in a controlled environment with the aid of highly specialised equipment and medication,” he explains.
The newly launched vehicle, the second of its kind in the Netcare fleet, will mainly be used for inter-hospital transfers, particularly when patients require specialised care that is not available at the facility where they were initially admitted. Critically ill patients are at an increased risk of morbidity and mortality during transportation, therefore the standard of care, monitoring and intervention during inter-hospital transport in the IND02 will be the same as is available in the ICU environment.
According to Grindell, certain circumstances may prohibit emergency medical helicopters from transporting patients in critical need. “Neonatal babies are, for example, particularly sensitive to the vibrations in a helicopter; it is therefore better to transport these babies using a specialised ICU ambulance, or a fixed wing aircraft with ICU capabilities over a longer distance. Even though it is still early days we have already used these vehicles to transport a few neonatal babies, some weighing well under 500 grams, with good outcomes,” explains Grindell.
The ICU ambulances are equipped with state of the art medical equipment such as the latest transport ventilator, which has advanced modes that are able to ventilate the smallest of neonatal babies to the most critically ill adults. “Apart from the standard medical equipment found on an ambulance, it is also equipped with the sophisticated equipment such as an incubator, syringe drivers, infusion pumps, monitors and a built-in refrigerator for transportation of certain medicines,” he adds.
“Keeping critically ill patients stable in transit is a specialised discipline, which can impact greatly on patient outcomes. It is a much-needed service and this investment by Netcare 911 complements our other services,” says Grindell.
Grindell notes that, “Netcare 911 is focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for the patients whose lives we hold in our hands on a daily basis, and we have therefore always sought to procure vehicles and equipment that will improve safety, performance and efficacy.”
“It is critical that our ambulances and response vehicles are capable of providing quality care to patients in need of specialised emergency medical services. The ICU ambulances are a necessary and vital addition to our fleet and will help expand our capabilities while allowing us to better serve our patients,” concludes Grindell.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare 911
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Beswick or Jillian Penaluna
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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