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Helicopter Transfers Seriously Ill 13 Year Old

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Transfers Seriously Ill 13 Year Old

The Wellington-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to transport a seriously injured teenager following a push bike accident late this afternoon. The callout came soon after the close of the Life Flight Open Day, and following an extremely busy night for the Life Flight NZ fixed wing air ambulance service.

About 3:20 this afternoon Wellington Free Ambulance was called to Moonshine Hill Road in Upper Hutt where a 13 year old Porirua boy was seriously injured when he came off his push bike.

"As we understand it the boy was out for a bike ride with his dad and got a bit ahead on a down hill run. The dad rounded a corner and found the boy lying on the road bleeding badly" says Dave Greenberg, Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman. "Apparently no other vehicles were involved in the crash".

The helicopter, with two Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics onboard, rendezvoused with the road ambulance at Moonshine Park and then flew the injured boy to the Wellington Hospital Emergency Department where he is currently being treated for a head injury.

"It appears that his bike helmet probably saved his life" says Greenberg.

This mission came soon after the annual Open Day ended at the Life Flight Air Rescue Centre at Wellington Airport.

"We are guesstimating that we had at least 3000 people through the doors today" says Greenberg. "This is the sixth year in a row we have had an Open Day and it is always amazing to see how many people come out to support us and see the aircraft, equipment and meet our teams".

The Open Day was a great chance for the community to come out and walk through the plane, the helicopter and other emergency vehicles which they would not usually be able to get close to. Demos were given by the rescue helicopter, Wellington Airport Fire Engines, the NZ Bomb Squad and NZ Customs Sniffer Dog team as well as nurses from The Wellington Hospital ICU and Neonatal teams.

The Life Flight NZ fixed wing air ambulance service was also very yesterday afternoon and last night.

At about 4pm yesterday the Auckland-based air ambulance was called to Waikato Base Hospital in Hamilton to transport a sick 10 year old. The plane, with a medical team from Starship Hospital Pediatric ICU unit returned to Starship with the sick child around 7pm.

At about the same time that air ambulance was landing in Auckland the Wellington-based air ambulance was taking off, with a medical team from Wellington Hospital Neonatal ICU, to transport a seriously ill premature baby from Palmerston North back to the Wellington Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Soon after returning to Wellington a Wellington Hospital (adult) ICU team boarded the plane, flew to Blenheim and transported a 78 year old man from Wairau Hospital in to Christchurch Hospital for advanced medical care. The team arrived back in Wellington around 4:30am.

"Just another 24 hours at Life Flight" says Greenberg. "A premature baby, a 10 year old, a 13 year old and a 78 year old all helped by Life Flight and our emergency service teams".


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