Importance Of An Air Ambulance In India
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- What is HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services)?

HEMS is the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services, which is prevalent and a necessary service existing across the world, especially in developed countries such as Germany and UK where health is given a very high priority. Talking about India, do we need the HEMS? Yes, of course, we are already 30 years behind in this service.

- What is the role of an Air Ambulance?

The role of an air ambulance is becoming more and more important from the Indian perspective. We have wide geography and all the doctors with the best skill-sets such as a neurosurgeon or a transplant surgeon, are all located in the metro cities. If you have these people sitting in the bigger cities, you cannot take them to a smaller village to operate. What we have to do is bring the patients to the transplant center or any other intervention centre.

- What role did Air Ambulance play during Covid?

When Covid hit us, people were stuck in places where they couldn't reach the appropriate medical care facilities and for higher-level interventions. Icatt airlifted the patients in an isolation pod imported from Germany and has 100% virus seal off. In the pod, it filters the virus and protects the pilots and the airport crew from being exposed to Covid. In fact, we have also done the highest number of Covid A transfers with ECMO, says Icatt.

- Regulatory Challenges

Four years ago there were many regulatory issues when we came to India. There were many challenges. Now, we have airlifted those who have met with road accidents. Of course, India is ready with the regulations now to operate HEMS, which is the primary HEMS, literally flying down to pick up the patients during emergencies.

Another area where air ambulance plays an important role is in organ airlifting. Nearly 80% of the patients die before they get an organ. We airlift 90% of the organs in India and we sit in the protocols, guidelines, SOPS, how to airlift an organ, and bring our extensive experience from the UK where we were a part of the declarations and organ harvesting.

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