Rope-drop first for HEMS medics

For the first time in the history of the Lotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe (LPR), Poland’s national air rescue service, a helicopter doctor and paramedic have been lowered to a rescue scene by rope. On 16 May, the service’s base in Sanok, southeast Poland, was tasked to attend an unconscious patient located in a village near Lake Solina in the Bieszczady Mountains region.

After reaching the site, it became apparent that there was no safe landing site due to the buildings and terrain at the location, said LPR. Ground-based medical responders had not yet reached the patient, and due to his condition the team elected to lower the medical crew (a doctor and paramedic) directly to the incident site using rope techniques. The patient required urgent intervention and immediate transport to hospital, said the provider.

LPR said this was the first mission where its rescuers had reached a patient by rope in which not only a paramedic, but also a physician, were despatched.

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