Flight for Life and CHRISTUS Mother Frances Health System introduced the local community to the addition of a Fixed Wing Pilatus PC-12 critical care aircraft that has been placed in service recently. Fifty-six care flights have already been carried out since the plane was introduced. The fixed wing plane will join a fleet of helicopters operated by Flight for Life.
Paul Harvey, CEO of CHRISTUS Mother Frances Sulphur Springs, introduced the flight crew and representatives of Fight for Life. Members of the local hospital staff and board along with members of the community were present for the introduction.
The Pilatus PC-12 has a multi-state service area of 350 miles and a secondary service area of over 1,000 miles. Recently a flight carried a burn patient from Tulsa, Oklahoma to the Galveston Shriner Burn Center according to Flight for Life officials. They stated that continuity of care, personal service and optimized health outcomes for patients served by the CHRISTUS system as those patients are moved from one hospital to another is the primary goal of Flight for Life. A larger cabin area accommodates greater specialty equipment and treatment modalities that are a challenge inside the cabin of the existing helicopters. The cabin of the plane allows a member of the patient’s family to accompany the patient on a flight. Critical care dual-certified Flight Nurse and Flight Paramedic clinical team add to the patient’s care.
The airplane is used primarily to move patient from city to city utilizing the local airport at each location. The plane will also enable increased poor-weather capability including the ability to fly in icing conditions.
Flight for Life has been conducting critical care transport for 30 years.