Aviation medicine



Royal Med plays vital role in patient aero transport

Since its establishment five years ago, Abu Dhabi-based Royal Med has played an important role in patient transfers from the region to specialist hospitals around the world. Middle East Health speaks to Dr Frank Porter, the recently appointed Medical Director of Royal Med.

 

Middle East Health: Can you give Middle East Health some background about Royal Med. When was it established? Why was it established? How big is the fleet?

Dr Frank Porter: Aeromedical evacuation in the UAE was originally undertaken by the Amiri Flight of Abu Dhabi, a government organisation servicing the Royal family of Abu Dhabi. After eight years of successful operation, the Amiri Flight Medevac service evolved into Royal Med which was officially launched in May 2003.

Royal Med has a fleet of four different aircraft types for maximum patient transfer flexibility. Each is kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment for medical evacuations and all are directly linked to medical support on the ground in order to provide in-flight treatment and stabilising as deemed necessary by the medical teams. Aircraft types used by Royal Med are the Learjet 35, Gulfstream 300, Learjet 60 and Boeing Business Jet (737-700).



MEH: Is Royal Med only a medical transport service or does it also provide medevac and other services?

FP: Royal Med offers both medical transport service as well as medical services needed by the patients while on board the aircraft. Bed-to-bed medical care comes with complete in-flight monitoring of the patientsí condition. Royal Med performs all the required co-ordination between the healthcare providers, hospitals and the patientsí families. These are competitively priced, roundthe- clock personal care for government authorities, hospitals, embassies, individual clients and insurance companies. Once a request is received, a Royal Med doctor and his team assess the patientís condition in hospital to evaluate transportability and medical urgency. The destination hospital is then contacted and arrangements made for direct admission.

MEH: Which hospitals is it affiliated to?

FP: Royal Med isnít affiliated with any specific hospital, though it does have excellent working relationships with a number of hospitals around the world.

MEH: How extensive is the region it serves?

FP: Royal Med flies patients to several destinations throughout Europe, the Far East, the Middle East, the Indian Sub-continent and the USA.

We can fly patients to most destinations worldwide and, because we are based in the Middle East, we offer a rapid reaction time, creating a strategic link between the Far East and Europe. We guarantee mission departure within 36 hours of mobilisation.

MEH: Who does it serve Ė UAE nationals, medically insured expats?

FP: Both UAE nationals and medically insured expats can avail themselves of Royal Medís round-the-clock personal care. These could come from government authorities, hospitals, embassies, individual clients and insurance companies. Bed-to-bed medical care comes with complete in-flight monitoring of the patientsí condition. Royal Med performs all the required co-ordination between the healthcare providers, hospitals and the patientsí families.

MEH: What is the demand for this service from a business point of view?

FP: Demand for Royal Med is rising with greater awareness of the unparalleled bed-to-bed service this Royal Jet subsidiary can deliver. Completed missions during 2007 increased by 35% on the previous year. Year-on-year growth in both the number of patients and missions carried out continues to rise by over 60%. Royal Med has more than 500 successful patient transfers to its credit since it started operations.

Our pre-assessment checks of all patients carried are one of the unique services we offer, ensuring transfers are made in the safest and most appropriate manner for their particular conditions.

MEH: What medical personnel are on board the aircraft?

FP: Medical personnel on board the aircraft are specialist doctors and intensive care nurses and paramedics who are experts in their field and highly experienced across neonatal, paediatric and adult clinical disciplines.

Royal Medís offering is unmatched in the entire region. Our dedicated medical team, which consists of more than 20 professionals, has specific expertise in cardiology, paediatric, neo-natal and intensive care.

MEH: What medical equipment do the aircraft carry?

FP: We are equipped with advanced technology, including the latest neo-natal ventilators and defibrillators and have a large inventory of modern critical care mobile ICU equipment for all types of mission. Royal Med aircraft are capable of providing multiple medical therapies that range from continuous cardiac monitoring (ECG rhythm strip & 12-lead ECG) to neonatal transport incubators (Drager 5400, AirShields, Baby Pod II). All Royal Med equipment is subject to regular inspection and biomedical testing.

Dr Frank Porter Dr Frank Porter, an emergency medicine and critical care specialist, was recently appointed Medical Director of Royal Med. Dr Porter holds a medical degree from Munichís Ludwig-Maximilian University. He completed his residency training at Yale University and is certified by the American Board of International Medicine. Dr Porter trained in aviation medicine with the Department of Aviation Medicine within the German air force.


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ate of upload: 29th September 2008

                                  
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