Stockholm’s Karolinska University Hospital has signed an agreement with Babcock International for the delivery and operation of an Augusta Westland AW139 helicopter, for use in the provision of emergency medical transport.
The twin-engine helicopter will be used for the provision of emergency medical transport, and is equipped with medical equipment including an incubator for seriously ill newborns, as well as an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) life support machine.
In addition to up to two pilots, the interior cabin can also accommodate up to five medical attendants alongside four stretchers, and has large sliding doors on both sides to ensure rapid loading and unloading of patients.
The aircraft is equipped with two Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C turboshaft engines with full authority digital engine control (FADEC), and is capable of cruise speeds of 306km. It offers a maximum 1,061km range with a maximum endurance of five hours and 13 minutes.
The Karolinska Institute has also been exploring the use of medical delivery drones
The Karolinska Institute is rapidly developing its aerial medical capabilities. The university’s Centre for Resuscitation is currently undergoing trial operations of medical delivery drones in partnership with Västra Götaland regional council, emergency number operator SOS Alarm, and drone developer Everdrone.
The technology is currently accessible to around 200,000 people in Sweden, with rapid expansion planned for this year. The scheme successfully delivered a defibrillator in three minutes to a 71-year-old man suffering from a cardiac arrest earlier this month.