Indian Air Force has recognized the need for speed for limiting mortality and morbidity while transporting the critically ill from the battlefield, Chief of IAF, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said today. He was speaking after inaugurating an Air Ambulance of the private Ganga Hospital here. “This is a landmark achievement in the field of trauma surgery. During the Kargil war in 1999 IAF Mi-17 and Mi-8 helicopters were sent to evacuate casualties from the icy Himalayan heights to airfields of Srinagar and Awantipur from where critical patients were transported to Command Hospital at Chandigarh and Research and Referral Army Hospital in New Delhi,” he said.
Subsequently, IAF formulated its own Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT) in 2007, using an indigenously designed Patient Transfer Unit), which could be retrofitted in either fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft, he said. As many as 17 transport aircraft of IAF can be converted into Air Ambulances, Dhanoa said.
CCATT has the expertise and wherewithal to air transport the critically ill from remote corners of the country to tertiary care center of the Armed Forces while providing critical care in flight, he said. “They have indeed done us proud and Air Ambulance such as that of Ganga Hospital will further aero-medical treatment in our country,” Dhanoa said.