ABU DHABI // A man’s life has been saved after pilots were able to fly him from Dubai to the US while he was hooked up to a heart-lung machine.
It is believed to be the first transcontinental transfer of a patient connected to such a machine – which is used during open-heart surgery to keep patients alive.
The feat was carried out by Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabi-based international luxury flight services company, and Germany-based Epitop Medical earlier this month.
Royal Jet has handled many kinds of medical emergencies in the past 10 years, including a highly complicated medical evacuation mission flying 31 Chinese workers injured in explosions from the Republic of Congo to China last year.
In terms of complexity, expertise and sensitivity, however, this latest mission to Chicago superseded all previous ones, according to Shane O’Hare, president and chief executive of the company.
“We are proud we could save a life by putting together our 10 years of experience, our able medevac crew and our aviation expertise to execute a successful mission,” he said.
A team of German cardiologists and intensive care nurses accompanied the male patient on a specially modified Royal Jet Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 737, ensuring he was given the highest level of intensive care on the flight from Dubai to Chicago.
Health Authority Abu Dhabi provided all the necessary logistical support.
“Royal Jet is known for its pioneering medical evacuation service in the Middle East,” said Mr O’Hare. “This is another first in a long list of over 1,600 medevac missions we have carried out. Using the BBJ reduced the number of technical stops required for a transatlantic flight to the minimum of one stop in Glasgow, UK.
The flight was completed in 21 hours,” he added.
After the record mission, Royal Jet successfully transferred a second male patient in full cardiac failure from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles.