DRF celebrates 35 years of Christoph 53 base at Mannheim

DRF celebrates 35 years of Christoph 53 base at Mannheim

9-Jul-2021 Source: DRF Luftrettung

It has long been an integral part of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region: “Christoph 53”, the Mannheim helicopter of the DRF Luftrettung. While the crews initially performed around 300 missions a year, today, on the station’s 35th birthday, they fly over 1,100 missions a year. 

Whether a time-critical transport on board the “flying intensive care unit” to the university clinics in Heidelberg or Mannheim or a serious accident in a remote valley of the Odenwald – “Christoph 53”, the Mannheim helicopter of the DRF Luftrettung, is quickly on the spot when a person is in need is. The crew, who just arrived at Neuostheim Airport 35 years ago, went straight to one of the youngest patients. A premature baby girl had to be transported from Landau to the Heidelberg University Clinic in the incubator, the so-called “incubator”. 

Even today, medically highly demanding missions are part of the regular tasks of the Mannheim crew, as Martin Beitzel, station manager and pilot at the station, explains: “Our station was the first in Germany where all of our emergency doctors, as well as all paramedics, were involved , have been trained in advanced invasive emergency techniques. This means that they can stabilize patients with severe blood loss, such as stab injuries, and stop the bleeding on site. That can bring the crucial vital time for the transport to a special clinic. ” 

Blood also saves lives, since 2019 in the Mannheim region right at the scene of the accident and not just in the clinic. This was made possible by a cooperation between the DRK blood donation service Baden-Württemberg-Hessen and the DRF Luftrettung. Since then, the crew of “Christoph 53” has had a new supply option at hand: They can administer blood and blood plasma to patients whose lives are in danger due to severe blood loss. Especially when the way to a suitable clinic is long, this can mean the crucial minutes for survival.

The Mannheim station

“Christoph 53”, the helicopter of the DRF Luftrettung manned by a pilot, emergency doctor and paramedic, is stationed at Mannheim Airport and is ready for use from sunrise (7.00 a.m. at the earliest) until sunset. The crew can reach locations within a radius of 60 kilometers in a maximum of 15 minutes by flight. The area of ​​application includes the control center areas Mannheim, Rhein-Neckar, Bergstrasse, Neckar-Odenwald, Karlsruhe, Kaiserslautern, Odenwald, Ludwigshafen, Mainz, Darmstadt, Darmstadt-Dieburg and Landau. Thanks to the favorable location in the border triangle, there are also cross-border missions in Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Bavaria. In addition to the so-called primary missions, which the team leads directly to the emergency center,

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