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City to have first air ambulance hospital

SHANGHAI plans to establish a medical helicopter first aid team and management system within three years to improve emergency rescue efficiency.

Ruijin Hospital will construct the city’s first Air Ambulance Center Base Hospital.

It will be tasked with building professional air ambulance service teams, formulating transfer standards and a whole set of transfer mechanism through cooperation with local health authorities, the medical emergency center and other government departments.

The city’s first helicopter equipped with first aid facility will be introduced this year.

At least five medical helicopters are needed to transport patients from different parts of the city and even Yangtze Delta regions to leading hospitals, delegates told an “air first aid” conference at the weekend.

During the event a Sino-Czech air aid cooperation program was signed. Under the program with a US$500,000 fund from Home Credit China, Prague Medical Emergency Services will over the next two years carry out training of medics, paramedics and managerial personnel at Ruijin Hospital, lead clinical and technical guidelines, and conduct training among Helicopter Emergency Medical Services and intensive care units.

“So far, there are two helicopter teams — one for emergency transport from the sea and one for police use. Though their helicopters also transport critical patients, there is no professional first aid equipment on board,” said Chen Er’zhen, vice president of Ruijin Hospital.

“For a big city like Shanghai, we need a professional medical helicopter service team. There is no standard and guidelines in the nation so far. So we will do training, establish guidelines and set up standards.”

He Zhichun, director of Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission’s emergency department, said a “vertical first aid system” offering emergency transportation and care from the air, the sea and the road will be set up by 2030. “Medical helicopter is a must for a big sports event, major public health accidents and critical patient transportation,” he said.

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