Seven ECMO missions in 10 days for Rega

Between 19 and 29 January, Rega aircraft flew seven patients undergoing ECMO therapy to higher levels of care. Rega has owned its own ECMO equipment since 2009 – the only one in Switzerland to have this capability – and says that since its introduction, the kit has been needed by around 25 per cent of its 2,000 intensive care patients each year.

In six of the seven missions completed in January, rescue helicopters were used to transfer patients who were being treated in hospitals outside of major urban centres to more suitable facilities. The seventh mission saw the transfer of a patient from Switzerland to Germany.

Roland Albrecht, chief flight physician for Rega, noted: “Seven ECMO transports in 10 days is an unusually high number. Thanks to good co-operation between Rega and the cardiac surgery department of the University Hospitals of Zurich and Bern, as well as the medical intensive care unit of the Cantonal Hospital St Gallen, we were able to carry out the assignments.”

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