Saturday, March 10, 2007

Loading the Bird

Here are 2 of my fellow nurses with help loading their patients onto a CH-46 helo to transport to another hospital. They each have a patient on a vent to monitor, and a couple other patients that are walking wounded that tag along for the ride. The patient is wheeled near the helo, than carried into and locked in place. The nurses will continue to monitor the various equipment, often giving medications to keep the patient unconscious and pain free. Maintaining the equipment in the helo can be a challenge, in the 46 the doors and windows are open, creating a wind tunnel. It is impossible to hear anything, so your patient assessment skills have to evolve to the new environment (no stethescope to check lung sounds). You can see the tail gunner, there are also 2 more door gunners, one on each side. Following each transport is a helicopter gunship known as 'Revenge', since they will eliminate any one that shoots at the transport helicopter. I'll try to get a photo of them soon. We have done a total of 10 transports so far (I'm still at one), several of those transports had 2 patients or more at a time.
Yesterday we transported a family of 5, 2 parents and 3 children that were in an auto accident, 2 of the children required a nurse since they were intubated. We hear all are doing fine a day later.

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