Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (493)

Denis Naughten

Question:

493. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Defence the number of aeromedical call outs by the air ambulance based in Athlone since its inception; the number of patients transported for each category of emergency including STMI patients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12347/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

A twelve-month pilot Emergency Aeromedical Support (EAS) service was established on 4 June 2012 by agreement between my Department and the Department of Health for the Air Corps to support the HSE’s National Ambulance Service. The purpose of the pilot is to assess the level and type, if any, of dedicated emergency aeromedical support needed to assist the National Ambulance Service in the west of Ireland for certain types of patient, particularly in light of the requirements of the HSE Clinical Care Programmes such as Acute Coronary Syndrome and Stroke.

The EAS service is operated by the Air Corps out of Custume Barracks, Athlone. A full evaluation of the service is to be undertaken by the stakeholders within three months of the end of the pilot programme (June 2013) and submitted for consideration by my colleague the Minister for Health. This evaluation process is now underway.

In the first 9 months of the service, up to 3 March 2013, there were 150 EAS missions completed. An analysis of these missions indicates that 46 were segment elevation myocardial infarction ( STEMI) patients, 43 were trauma, 38 were medical, 10 were pediatric and 13 were other time-critical cases, as tasked by the HSE’s National Aero-Medical Coordination Centre.