Tuesday, January 21, 2020

UMC Expands Air Ambulance Service

UMC issued the following statement.

AirCare, the University of Mississippi Medical Center program using the state’s most advanced medical helicopter transports, made its maiden flight in February 1996 and has since served almost 30,000 patients from all corners of Mississippi and flown more than a million miles.

A cornerstone of health care at UMMC, AirCare has recently established a new, collaborative program with an aviation partner that will help enhance the helicopter operation’s clinical, research and education expertise.

Med-Trans, a leading national medical transport provider in its 36th year, will provide the helicopters, equipment and pilots for AirCare’s bases in Jackson, Meridian, Columbus and Greenwood. Med-Trans has relationships with health systems and medical centers in 26 states and operates from more than 95 bases, and its 1,200 employees make a difference in the lives of patients in hundreds of communities.

“In the last six or seven years, AirCare has experienced a dramatic increase in our research and education missions in addition to our traditional clinical transport mission,” said Dr. Damon Darsey, associate professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics. UMMC is the state’s only academic medical center, housing the state’s only Level I trauma center and Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, the highest levels possible for both, and the only hospital dedicated solely for children, and the only organ and tissue transplant programs.

“Med-Trans is an aviation partner that can help us match our aviation innovation and service to the clinical advances we have experienced,” Darsey said. “It’s more than transporting a patient or flying life-saving care to wherever it’s needed. It’s improving the system of care to make sure that the right patient gets to the right place.

“We’re combining the expertise of a company that does this often with our academic medical center, and using the lessons they’ve learned to help improve health care in the state of Mississippi,” said Darsey, who also serves as medical director of the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services.

AirCare brings the intensive care unit capabilities of an academic medical center to critically ill patients of all ages and backgrounds, in every corner of the state. That could be the side of a road or interstate, another hospital, or the scene of a disaster, where seconds can sometimes be the difference between life and death.

All of AirCare’s clinical flight crew members are specially trained by UMMC’ s faculty on the latest life-saving techniques and provide care through advanced treatment protocols. All flights are staffed at minimum by a critical care paramedic, registered nurse and pilot.

AirCare is the only medical helicopter program in Mississippi that flies patients of any age, including infants. AirCare has the state’s only neonatal-trained air transport team, flying the most acutely ill newborns to the Medical Center for intensive care. It’s the only program utilizing isolettes for premature and ill infants.

And, AirCare is the only medical helicopter transport program operating in the state, and one of few in the nation, that stocks and administrates prothrombin complex concentrate to reverse anticoagulant drugs in the systems of patients with acute major bleeding. It is the sole program that carries whole blood, liquid plasma and an ultrasound.

Med-Trans is part of a much larger company, Global Medical Response, that transports more than five million patients annually by ground and air.

"Med-Trans is incredibly pleased to be partnering with AirCare to help further air medical transport services for patients in the state of Mississippi," said Brian Foster, vice president of operations for Med-Trans. "We are privileged to be able to provide the medically configured aircraft and the highly trained pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians who will work alongside the outstanding medical professionals at the University of Mississippi Medical Center."

Med-Trans “will focus on the business of aviation and maintenance,” said Stephen Houck, director of the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services. “AirCare will focus on clinical care, research and education. “Together, we will leverage each other’s experience and resources to continue to develop an amazing program. You will still see the same type aircraft, the same clinicians, and we will continue to develop our protocols to make them among the most advanced in the industry.

“We want people to know that AirCare is here doing what we do best, serving our Mississippi communities through advanced pre-hospital medicine, education and research,” Houck said.

AirCare is part of the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services at UMMC, created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to expand the state’s ability to maintain medical services during unanticipated disasters and emergencies. It’s a clearinghouse for emergency communications in the state and a key provider of clinical and classroom training for first responders, public safety officials and other health care providers.

MCES in September 2018 broke ground on a new 20,000-square foot home that will combine all its services under one roof. The facility will provide a second Jackson-campus helipad for AirCare, which will still land on the roof of UMMC’s critical care hospital to deliver patients for treatment, but will be staffed and deployed from the MCES.

“We are doubling down on clinical care, education and research, and our partner will focus on the aviation side,” Darsey said. “Med-Trans will not only match our clinical expertise, but challenge us to do better.”


Anonymous said...

I just can't see the value in paying other air transport systems to copter me or a family member, and they advertise widely and even canvass the area on foot, up around the Delta, for sure. Who would call them if I needed transport? I'll sit tight and rely on these professionals who are connected to the Jackson area hospitals.

Anonymous said...

This isn’t an expansion, simply a change in who fly’s and repair the aircraft. Same medics, same birds, same bases. The issue I have is they pretend to be a first response agency, which they aren’t.

Anonymous said...

5:08 "Fly's?" Really?

Anonymous said...

3:05 - that might be the most ignorant comment I have ever seen posted. You are clearly not well versed on emergency medicine or have any schooling relating to emergency medicine. Please leave saving lives to the professionals.

Anonymous said...

3:05pm - perfect example of Darwinism at work!

Anonymous said...

When did this page become a paid advertisement/press release outlet for UMMC? They get a lengthy post on this site weekly. No one cares what the state's most corrupt healthcare system is doing. All of the sewer rats running the place can suck a fat one. Robbing our state and federal government blind with their falsified data on applications for construction/grants/etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm 3:05. I'll wait while 6:42 and 7:28 explain how a private copter group (they're not first responders) can get me to medical treatment faster than the copters dispatched under contract already to hospitals. Who the hell is going to contact this private group if I'm in an accident between Toomsuba and Laurel or sixteen miles north of Pace, in the woods?

These private copter guys are not contacted by 911 personnel or local first responders. Oh, wait...anybody who finds me unresponsive is supposed to rifle through my billfold and find a card telling them to call the private fly-boys to come get me.

First responders are always the personnel who determine that a person needs to be air-lifted, and they never call this outfit, nor should they.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:48 do some research... "Med-Trans is part of a much larger company, Global Medical Response, that transports more than five million patients annually by ground and air." Ever heard of AMR (American Medical Response) or Med-Stat??? They are both owned by Global Medical Response... so the ambulance that is responded ARE also part of the "private" "outfit" that you call it. So that's who these "fly-boys" are going to come get you.

Now that my friends is the REST of the story...

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:51 - You might know that outfits like AMR are on contract with counties and respond to 911 and legit first responders like fire departments, police, deputies, etc. They are not dispatched within a non-contracted county by Global Medical Response regardless of how damned many people that outfit transports nationwide. Nor are these helicopters.

Check with your County Administrator 'for the REST of the story'.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:05... now that the side of who is running AirCare is covered, be aware that it’s the same for the other ambulance provider in the area, Pafford. Who runs most of the helicopters in the Delta and the fixed wing service in the Metro Area. AMR and Pafford ARE 911, their medics on the ground are the one that is going to call the helicopter. The helicopter will be launched by their 911 call centers and will be in direct contact with Mississippi MedCom the entire time... you know MEDCOM that is UMMC based. Since you are extremely ignorant on the subject, please give us the name of the “fly boy outfit” you are referring to so you can be schooled even further being EVERY helicopter in this region and the Delta is directly tired with a 911 service AND Mississippi MedCom and to add to that is staffed with a nationally certified CCRN and a CCP/FCP National certified Paramedic no matter which “outfit” they fly for. PLEASE make yourself look more ignorant on the subject so you can be school yet again... give us the name if the outfit. I beg you.

Whirly Bird said...

3:51 - School us on this Charlie Foxtrot situation. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

I called and asked these people if they are called and dispatched by first responders and was told 'we are not', unless our affiliate organizations are contracted to the county where the need exists. (so, all this 'schooling' we got, above, ain't worth shit.


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