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Lawsuit for safety?


Guest rookie101
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Guest rookie101

Hello all.

 

I saw this story posted on the JH forum:

 

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2007/mar/04...ule_transporti/

 

An interesting debate looms. Now, this is where I would love to get some of you EMS guys in here and read what youu've got to say because this is a pretty serious decision to make that effects you everytime you go out: Risk the lives of however many are on the helicopter and possibly anyone on the ground to save this woman or not risk it and hope she makes it in an amublance.

 

This also brought up another question, does your EMS helo have a per-patient weight limit or not? Finally, do you think that more accidents are caused in EMS because a pilot is trying to 'hurry up' the situation or is being rushed by the flight nurses?

 

Oops- probably should've put this in the EMS section, my bad :unsure:

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Hello all.

 

I saw this story posted on the JH forum:

 

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2007/mar/04...ule_transporti/

 

An interesting debate looms. Now, this is where I would love to get some of you EMS guys in here and read what youu've got to say because this is a pretty serious decision to make that effects you everytime you go out: Risk the lives of however many are on the helicopter and possibly anyone on the ground to save this woman or not risk it and hope she makes it in an amublance.

 

This also brought up another question, does your EMS helo have a per-patient weight limit or not? Finally, do you think that more accidents are caused in EMS because a pilot is trying to 'hurry up' the situation or is being rushed by the flight nurses?

 

Oops- probably should've put this in the EMS section, my bad :unsure:

 

Anything you do involves risk, helicopter flight included. Perhaps I've accepted some level of increased risk to do the job, but my job is to safely complete the flight. I don't "save lives".

 

In the words of the most senior EMS pilot I know:

"I don't do 'patient care'. The people I work with are highly skilled, trained professionals. They do that, and they do it well. My job is to fly at least as well. That helps them do their job."

We didn't make the emergency, it's not our fault the patients being transported. All bleeding eventually stops. All patients eventually die. And, if you drop a baby- you should pick it up."

 

 

My program doesn't have a fixed patient weight limit. The manufacturer of the helicopter has set parameters and limits that I must, by law, operate within. The most common limiting factors are forward CG, and max gross weight. My experience is that loading a 394 lb patient would exceed the forward CG limit in almost all of the aircraft I've flown, so I couldn't transport that person, by law.

 

Most EMS "accidents" occur at night, and the risks of doing this job at night have been discussed in many threads and forums.

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I am amazed that it was physically possible for someone who weighs 394lbs to be ejected from a vehicle.

 

I am glad that the HEMS company had a specific policy in place that will protect the flight crew from being singled out individually. Too often companies in my current industry leave things like this up to the crew's discretion. Of course when they make such a decision and something bad happens they come after their own, or leave them hanging in the wind.

Edited by klmmarine
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Our stretchers have a 350lb weight limit, and that's a limitation in the flight manual. It might be possible to lift the weight, depending on the fuel load, the crew weight, the temperature and wind conditions, etc, but there are other factors. The belts on the stretcher have to fit over the patient or it's not legal to fly them. If any of these factors are exceeded, it's not legal, nor safe, to fly. I don't care about the patient's condition, and I don't even want to know it. That's not my concern, which is flying the aircraft safely and legally. A 394 lb patient isn't going in my helicopter, under any conditions. It's not legal, it's not safe, and it isn't going to happen. Other helicopter models may be capable of taking that patient, but mine isn't. The patient's carelessness or bad luck isn't my fault, and won't make me do anything unsafe or illegal.

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