Haiti Air Ambulance adds paediatric helicopter

Haiti Air Ambulance adds paediatric helicopter

8-May-2023 Source: Digital Journal

Haiti Air Ambulance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing the only medically equipped helicopter based in Haiti, will launch an additional helicopter equipped to provide emergency medical care for pregnant women and new mothers and babies.

For almost a decade HAA has been dedicated to making health care accessible to all of Haiti’s 11.5 million inhabitants. Since pregnant women in Haiti have little or no access to prenatal care, over the years mothers and newborns have made up to 40 percent of HAA’s patients. The HAA crew not only stabilizes patients enroute to the hospital, but they also make sure the facility they are headed to offers the best treatment for those in their care. The HAA team even makes payment arrangements to cover the cost of treatment if the patient can’t do so.

As a former HAA patient a few years ago, Edna Jean remembers her experience with the organization’s emergency medical care services. Living in the mountains, three hours away from the closest hospital, she realized something was terribly wrong when she was about to give birth to her first child. “I was in a lot of pain.” She explained, “It was so horrible that I felt that I or my baby wouldn’t make it.”

Her village doctor contacted Haiti Air Ambulance to take her to a hospital and used a soccer field close to her home as a landing zone while six of her neighbors carried her to the field. Once she was onboard, HAA’s medical crew started treatment to stabilize her condition. Seven minutes later the helicopter landed, and an ambulance took Edna to the hospital where she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Now, with the addition of a new helicopter, HAA will be able to transport, triage, and treat up to twice as many patients as before including maternity cases. The new addition is large enough to accommodate not only the crew, medical staff, and patient but one family member as well. It also has specialized equipment such as ultrasound and an infant warming pod to accommodate the tiniest of infants.

As Edna says, “It was because of Haiti Air Ambulance and the help of God that I was able to survive and safely give birth.” And her whole community feels the same way.

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