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Plane transfers two seriously ill patients

The Wellington based Life Flight NZ fixed wing air ambulance service was able to transport two critically ill patients from Masterton Hospital to Wellington Hospital last night, despite horrendous weather conditions which closed the Rimutaka Hill Road and prevented the Westpac Rescue Helicopter from flying to the Wairarapa.

Life Flight was contacted about 5:30 pm and asked to bring a medical team to Masterton Hospital to assist a man suffering from a medical condition.

About an hour later the plane took off from Wellington Airport with a specialist medical flight team from Wellington Hospital ICU.

"The conditions were pretty unfriendly" says Life Flight NZ Air Ambulance Crewman Brent Malden. "The pilots had to contend with driving rain and winds over 100 k/ph".

The plane arrived at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton just after 7pm.

Soon after arriving at Masterton Hospital the medical team was informed that a seriously injured man had arrived in the Emergency Department after a car accident near Martinborough. This man also required urgent transfer to Wellington Hospital.

"Life Flight is the only air ambulance service in NZ which could transfer two seriously ill patients at the same time" says Dave Greenberg, Life Flight Operations Manager. "The plane is equipped with two ICU stretchers which allowed us to transport both patients on the same flight. At the end of the day it was the skill of the doctor and nurse, our pilots and crewman which managed to get both patients back to Wellington so quickly and safely".

The plane arrived back at Wellington Airport at about 12:45 am this morning.

Both patients have been admitted to Wellington Hospital ICU.


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