LifeFlight Australia has completed another record-breaking financial year, coming to the aid of 6,825 people through missions performed by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters, Air Ambulance jets and Critical Care Doctors
“We’re proud to make a difference in the lives of so many people, including those in rural and regional Queensland, by being ready to respond, 24/7, 365 days a year,” said General Manager of RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Operations, Brian Guthrie.
“We provide a critical service and high level of pre-hospital care to anyone who needs it, and that world-class care comes at no cost to patients.”
During the 2021-2022 financial year, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s helicopter fleet was called upon to be part of the multi-agency emergency response efforts, during three separate catastrophic flood events.
“Queenslanders were challenged this year with really difficult situations, particularly in the floods. We saw a number of floods that we had to deal with and the versatility of our crews was second to none. We were able to respond to numerous rescue calls, but also when we’re out there we are seeing so much more happening and are looking to respond to others at the same time, so it’s a really difficult time for our crew and what we really rely on is their ability to make great judgement calls and really draw on their experience and skill set to get everyone to safety where possible,” Brian Guthrie said.
One of the most common call outs for the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue community choppers in the past 12 months, was to assist people involved in motor vehicle incidents.
“It’s incredibly disappointing to see crashes still in the top five reasons for call outs for the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Service. We know that many of these crashes are caused by the ‘Fatal Five’ and are avoidable and drivers need to be taking more responsibility for their behaviour behind the wheel,” said RACQ spokesperson, Tristan Vorias.
“Our message to motorists, is to drive like your life depends on it – because it does. Already this year we’ve lost more than 150 lives on Queensland roads and tragically we are on track to surpass last year’s road toll.”
The top 5 patient injury and illness types across Queensland were:
1. Serious illness/infection (316)
2. Motor vehicle incidents (239)
3. Cardiac conditions (287)
4. Respiratory (not COVID-19) (149)
5. Falls (126)
The Brisbane-based chopper clocked up the highest number of flying hours of the LifeFlight rotary-wing fleet, spending 1,126 hours in the air, resulting in 474 people helped.
Those critical missions had an estimated value of $11.85 million dollars, which comes at no cost to the patient.
Top 5 Brisbane patient injury and illness types:
1. Serious illness/infection (149)
2. Cardiac (103)
3. Respiratory (48)
4. Motor vehicle incidents (32)
5. Neonatal (29)
In the past twelve months, the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance jet crews, based in Brisbane and Townsville, came to the aid of 432 people.
“The Air Ambulance jets are there to help people in rural and remote communities, to bring people in their time of need to tertiary hospitals to a greater level of care. Our pilots, doctors and nurses are always on standby 24/7, 365 days a year to help people, no matter where or when,” said General Manager for LifeFlight Retrieval Medicine & Fixed Wing, Tim McGuire.
In yet another financial year record, 213 of these people were airlifted by the Brisbane-based jet, while 219 were flown by the Townsville crews.
“Our jets are tasked domestically and internationally by insurance agencies, assistance companies, private clients, and of course, by Queensland Health,” said Tim McGuire.
“Our domestic taskings for Queensland Health varies from day to day, but the majority of cases are for people in live rural and remote areas who need that extra level of care.”
LifeFlight’s Air Ambulance jets have played a significant role in ensuring the Queensland Government has been able to deliver a statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic
“It’s been a very busy year with our partner, Queensland Health. From our two bases in Townsville and Brisbane, we were servicing Queensland Health nearly every day. Our Brisbane base was online, on full standby for Queensland Health for COVID positive patients, coming to and from Brisbane for a higher level of care for COVID,” said Tim McGuire.