Date Published : May 3rd, 2013 Published By : adminThe HSE have said that no decision has yet been made on the future its air ambulance service. The Emergency Aero-medical Service (EAS) was a pilot project and is nearing the end of its 12-month trial period since starting on June 4th last year.
The Air Ambulance which is operated by the Air Corps on behalf of the National Ambulance Service is an Augusta Westland AW139 helicopter (Medevac 112) and is based at Custume Barracks in Athlone. The trial service was established following agreement between the Ministers for Health and Defence through a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The pilot was established to determine the level and type of dedicated EAS service, if any, might be needed to support the ambulance service. It allows ambulance paramedics who respond to emergency calls to request air ambulance support if they think it’s required. All such requests are handled at the National Aero-medical Co-ordination Centre based at Tullamore in Co Offaly.
Since its launch, Medevac 112 has completed more than 260 missions. In addition to that, the Irish Coast Guard has carried out in excess of 40 missions on behalf of the EAS because it was better placed to respond in terms of location and flying times.
The Department of Health said: “The MoU requires a full evaluation of the pilot to be initiated three months before the end of the trial period. “This review is nearing completion and a report will be submitted to the Minister for Health shortly.”
43% of all calls were Cardiac-related incidents, including heart attacks. 17% of calls involved medical issues such as strokes, seizures and diabetes. Industrial and agricultural accidents and other trauma incidents made up 19% and just 8% of calls were to serious road traffic collisions.