Silvan Schibler can draw on some 18 years of experience in emergency medical services. For much of his career, Schibler has worked in ground-based civilian emergency services and also served as a Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Technical Crew Member (HEMS) on the Alpine Air Ambulance’s rescue helicopter, Lions 1. In addition, he served as an emergency medical technician with KFOR SWISSCOY (Swiss Army contingent) in two peacekeeping missions in Kosovo. Schibler is also licensed as a professional helicopter pilot.
You can look back on a very interesting and exciting career in the field of emergency medicine. Why did you decide to make the transition to the industry?
Emergency services is a fantastic profession, but in my view, it is very challenging to age gracefully in this line of work. It is both psychologically and physically demanding, which makes it difficult to keep performing at peak levels. After 18 years in emergency services, I would become completely used to unusual situations. They had become routine and I wanted to break away from that. Even though a job in emergency services can never really become mundane because of its unpredictable nature, I was ready for a new challenge. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and broaden my horizons too. I wanted to give myself more options for the future by taking on new responsibilities outside the domain of emergency medicine.
Why did you choose Hamilton Medical?
Hamilton Medical is a highly regarded tech company with an excellent product portfolio. It has strong innovation capabilities and some very exciting projects. It is a company that doesn’t stand still and is open to change – it is always ready to explore new product areas and markets.
In your role as Product Manager, you are responsible for the HAMILTON-T1 ventilator. Could you tell us what distinguishes this device from others?
The HAMILTON-T1 is the first transport ventilator to combine the functionality of a fully featured ICU ventilator with the compactness and ruggedness required for transport. This combination means you can offer your patients high-end ventilation during transport in a helicopter, an airplane, or an ambulance.
The HAMILTON-T1 is extremely robust. The water-resistant housing offers impact protection and the anti-reflective display is shock-resistant as well. You can use it at altitudes of up to 25,000 ft, in temperatures ranging from -15° C up to +50° C and humidity levels from 5% right up to 95%.
One integrated and one hot-swappable battery gives you a total battery operating time of up to 8 hours, which means the HAMILTON-T1 can be operated independently from the power grid.
What’s more, the integrated high-performance turbine and the low-pressure oxygen inlet mean it is completely independent from high-pressure oxygen as well. This reduces weight and saves space, and lets you use the HAMILTON-T1 with oxygen concentrators.
One feature that is particularly useful for air rescues is the night vision option that reduces light emissions during night flights.
For the military environment we offer an optional adapter to attach a standard NATO NBC filter canister.
What are the advantages of the HAMITON-T1 in terms of ventilating patients?
With the HAMILTON-T1 you can ventilate all patient groups - adult, pediatric, and neonatal. Not only that, you can provide all kinds of ventilation at a very high level. This includes invasive and noninvasive ventilation, as well as high flow oxygen therapy.
On this point, I should make special mention of our intelligent ventilation modes ASV® and INTELLiVENT®-ASV®. These two modes adapt ventilation breath-by-breath, and continuously adjust the respiratory rate, tidal volume, and inspiratory pressure depending on the patient’s lung mechanics. In an emergency situation, these two modes act like a bedside assistant and can help take some of the pressure off the medical crews.
What can emergency services expect in general from Hamilton Medical?
We are very customer-oriented and take our customer’s feedback seriously. If our customers have any concerns or needs, we have multiple points of contact, including Technical Support, Sales, or myself as the Product Manager. Whether it is a device-specific issue, technical assistance, or training needs, our customers can expect to receive the best-possible support.
We have a free e-Learning platform for prospective and existing customers. Also customized training sessions at the customer’s location are possible.
This year, we introduced the VenTrainer App. It simulates all our turbine-driven ventilators in 3D, with a fully functional user interface, real-time monitoring values, and a realistic physiologic patient model that has adjustable conditions for ARDS and normal lungs.