The Department of Health – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) air ambulance airlifted its first passenger from Coron, Palawan on March 16, 2017 and was brought to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Taft Avenue, Manila.
According to DOH-MIMAROPA Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo, the victim was a 5-year old female of Barangay 6, Coron, Palawan, who acquired a head injury through a motorcycle accident. “She was a victim of a hit-and-run accident and was brought to the Coron District Hospital at 6pm on March 15, 2017 for emergency treatment. She was diagnosed to be suffering from a depressed fracture at the right tempo - parietal area.
“After we were informed of the patient’s case the next day, the air ambulance was immediately dispatched to Coron at 1030am to transport her to PGH Taft Avenue, Manila and arrived at 12:30pm. The Cessna 206 was used to convey the patient from Coron Airport to Tanauan Airport in Batangas,” Janairo stated.
“Air medical response is a vital part in the delivery of health care because it offers the most important component in saving a patient’s life - Time. Its capability as a primary transport in bringing a patient directly from the scene of the traumatic event to a hospital reduces the risk of mortality among critical patients,” he emphasized.
Air transport is an essential part in emergency health care, especially in settings where access to a patient is restricted such as those who reside in the mountain and island barangays and ground evacuation is inaccessible.
“Despite from these physical barriers, traffic conditions also restrict access to specialty hospitals, especially in Metro Manila where most are located,” Director Janairo explained.
Marikina City is the first local government unit who expressed its interest in the importance of the program and provided accommodation for two landing areas for the air ambulance, particularly for the R44 Helicopter through a Memorandum of Agreement between DOH-MIMAROPA and Marikina City. “We will also be coordinating with the city’s Rescue 161 to assist us in the transfer of patients to hospitals.
“Improvements will be made in the delivery of emergency care as we make headway, such as reducing delays in the transport of patients. We are hoping to have more landing clearances and access to areas with helipads and airports to avoid delay brought about by traffic congestions near health facilities in Metro Manila for a more rapid response in transferring patients,” Janairo concluded.