Objective Our purpose was 2-fold: 1) to show emergency-related traumatic injury and acute disease patterns and 2) to evaluate air rescue process times in a remotely located German offshore wind farm. Optimally, this will support methodologies to reduce offshore help time (time from the incoming emergency call until offshore arrival of the helicopter). Methods The type and severity of traumatic injuries and acute diseases were retrospectively analyzed for 39 air medevacs from August 2011 to December 2013, and the process times of air rescue missions were evaluated in detail. Results Forty-nine percent of the medevacs were related to traumatic injuries, whereas 41% were associated with acute diseases and 10% remained unclear. Cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders accounted for 90% of internal medical cases. About 69% of the trauma was related to contusions, lacerations, and cuts. The main body regions injured were limbs (∼59%) and head (∼32%). The total rescue time until arrival at the destination facility averaged 175.3 minutes (standard deviation = 54.4 minutes). The mean helicopter offshore arrival time was 106.9 minutes (standard deviation = 57.4 minutes) after the incoming emergency call. In 64% of the medevacs, the helicopter arrived on scene within a help time of 90 minutes. Conclusion A reduction of help time (≤ 60 minutes) for time-critical severe trauma and acute diseases may be anticipated through rapid and focused medical and logistic decision-making processes by the onshore dispatch center combined with professional, qualified, and well-trained flight and rescue personnel.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)