Salt Lake City, April 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Intermountain Life Flight, one of the premier air medical transport programs in the nation headquartered in Utah, unveiled its newest medical resource – a unique long-range medical jet that will be used to transport patients for highly-specialized care. It can also be used to enhance organ transplantation in Utah by retrieving donor organs from throughout the United States.
A specialized Intermountain Life Flight medical team joined a Utah family, whose six-year-old son’s life was saved last month by utilizing the medical jet for a highly-specialized procedure, in unveiling the new aircraft.
In addition, members of the Intermountain Life Flight program were joined by leaders from DonorConnect, the organ procurement agency that serves the Intermountain West, to talk about how they will use the medical jet to enhance organ transplantation in Utah.
“We’re really excited to have this invaluable resource to enhance organ transplantation in Utah,” said Tracy Schmidt, executive director of DonorConnect.
The new Intermountain Life Flight medical jet, a Bombardier Challenger 604, can fly anywhere in the world and will be used for longer distance patient transports or organ retrievals (1,500+ miles). The aircraft has a range of 4,600 miles.
The aircraft is unique as it has a large cabin area that can accommodate two patients and allow for complex medical procedures while in flight, such as the use of ECMO, which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
ECMO is a highly-specialized critical life-saving heart-lung bypass treatment in which a circuit pumps and supplies oxygen to the blood. It’s an extraordinary, delicate procedure requiring a team of specialists on the flight.
“One of the great features of the Challenger is the large cabin that allows us to care for complex and very ill patients who require advanced care from specialized team members and necessary medical equipment,” said Kent Johnson, director of aviation operations for Intermountain Life Flight. “This aircraft is very reliable and unique, and we’re excited to add it to the Life Flight fleet.”
The Life Flight medical jet can carry eight passengers, and in addition to the large patient care area, has a crew rest area for pilots and medical team members.
“The ability that this aircraft provides for us to transport really complex patients is a tremendous resource that will result in many lives being saved,” said Tammy Bleak, RN, director of clinical operations for Intermountain Life Flight.
A Personal Story
One of those lives that was saved was six-year-old Ezra Partridge from Draper, Utah.
Ezra had been a healthy, active child until last March, when he began to experience fatigue and was diagnosed with heart failure caused by pulmonary vein stenosis, a rare and serious condition in which there is a blockage in the blood vessels that bring blood from the lungs back to the heart.
Ezra was admitted to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and was placed on an ECMO machine in the pediatric cardiac ICU to help support his failing heart function.
Stents were placed in Ezra’s vessels to help keep them open, but his heart continued to struggle, and it was determined that he needed a very specialized and unique treatment performed at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Thanks to the new long-range Life Flight medical jet and highly-trained, specialized pediatric team, Ezra was flown to Houston while on the ECMO machine for his procedure. In Houston, Ezra was able to get the life-saving procedure he needed.
After he improved, he was flown back home to Utah aboard the Life Flight medical jet while being cared for by the specialized medical team. He continued his recovery at Primary Children’s Hospital and is now home continuing his recovery, which is going well.
“We’re so grateful to Intermountain Healthcare, Life Flight, and the incredible team at Primary Children’s Hospital for all that they did for Ezra and our family,” said Brooke Partridge, Ezra’s mother. “We’re very appreciative for the great care Ezra received.”
ABOUT INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTHCARE
Based in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,800 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than 1 million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs.
CONTACT: Jess Gomez Intermountain Healthcare (385) 275-8245 firstname.lastname@example.org
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