Transport Canada Approves New Interim Interior for AW139 Helicopters
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - Ornge, Ontario's provider of air
ambulance and related services, is improving patient safety with a new
interim interior for its fleet of AW139 helicopters that will allow
paramedics to perform CPR at any time during flight.
"We transport the most critically injured or ill patients, which means
our paramedics must have an effective working environment," said Dr.
Andrew McCallum, new President and CEO of Ornge. "The new interim
interior solution will make it much easier for our paramedics to
provide the care that patients need, as we continue to improve patient
In early 2012, Ornge's new leadership acted immediately to address
concerns brought forward by frontline paramedics about their ability to
perform certain medical procedures effectively in the AW139 interior.
On Feb. 2, 2012, a temporary exemption was granted by Transport Canada
to use the existing interior with modifications for one year. This
addressed the most significant clinical concerns, since it allows for
life-saving CPR to be performed during all phases of flight if
necessary for the patient.
Following the exemption, a committee of Ornge paramedics, pilots, and
operations and aviation staff worked to review and approve a new
interim interior solution for the aircraft. Aerolite, a Swiss-based
company, was the successful bidder in a recent request for proposals to
build the new interim interiors. The interim interiors are currently
being installed and will be in use by Feb. 2, 2013, giving Ornge time
to develop a permanent solution.
The interim interiors are similar to the medical interiors used in other
AW139 emergency helicopters around the world. Some improvements
Enhanced ability for paramedics to perform CPR on a patient at all times
Reduced risk of lines and tubes getting caught on equipment during
loading and unloading.
Better access to the patient to place IVs.
Improved access to medical bags and supplies.
It is expected that the interim interior will be in place for about 18
to 24 months while a permanent solution is procured, designed,
installed and tested.
This measure builds on recent improvements at Ornge, including the
hiring of aviation executive Rob Giguere as the organization's Chief
Operating Officer, an improved patient relations process, the hiring of
a patient advocate, and introduction of a new conflict of interest
policy and a whistleblower protection policy. As well, the Ornge board
recently appointed Dr. Andrew McCallum as the new President and CEO of
Ornge. Previous to this appointment, he was the Chief Coroner for
Ontario and has held various leadership positions at Hamilton Health
Sciences and at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and is a specialist in
emergency medicine. His appointment became effective Jan. 21, 2013.
Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, coordinates all aspects of
Ontario's air ambulance system, the critical care land transport
program, pediatric transport program and the authorization of air and
land ambulance transfers between hospitals.
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