Mercyhealth REACT has new helicopter in service

Mercyhealth REACT has a new Airbus EC145 helicopter, which will replace the air medical program’s Airbus EC135 aircraft. With the Airbus EC145, REACT will be able to support a wider variety of missions and deliver specialized care to women and children.

Air Methods, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, provides the helicopter and aviation services to Mercyhealth REACT. Air Methods deploys aviation, fuel and maintenance, while Mercyhealth provides all medical staffing, patient care and clinical services for the air medical program.

Mercyhealth REACT's new EC145 helicopter will replace its EC135, and will allow the air medical program to expand its HEMS missions. Mercyhealth Photo
Mercyhealth REACT’s new EC145 helicopter will replace its EC135, and will allow the air medical program to expand its HEMS missions. Mercyhealth Photo
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“The partnership between Air Methods and Mercyhealth REACT is longstanding,” said Dave Richardson, senior vice president of Air Methods. “In this new airframe, we will continue to provide high quality, around-the-clock service for the most critically ill and injured patients across northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and eastern Iowa.”

The helicopter is equipped with a variety of critical care supplies and medications found in a hospital emergency room or intensive care unit (ICU). These include items such as oxygen, airway resuscitation equipment, heart monitor/defibrillator, suction, IV pump and fluids, specialized monitor/testing equipment, ventilators, and emergency medications.

The Airbus EC145’s spacious interior is important for the type of specialized equipment carried onboard the aircraft. The larger main cabin allows the REACT team to have head-to-toe access to patients and optimized capabilities during the transport of neonatal patients.

In addition to the enlarged space, the Airbus EC145 delivers additional power and performance. It also allows the REACT team to reach a greater service area beyond the existing 200-air mile radius. The Airbus EC145 offers a fast cruise speed, all while providing advanced flight safety features.

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“The upgrade of our airframe to the EC145 will enhance our mission profile in all of the populations that we care for on a daily basis,” said Dr. John Pakiela, Mercyhealth REACT’s medical director. “It will not only allow us to fly farther and faster, but it will also allow us to continue to provide comprehensive specialty care treatment during the transport of our high risk obstetric population, our critically ill or injured children, and the smallest babies of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”

When needed, the aircraft’s capability can expand with the added versatility of an incubator. The Voyager transport incubator is one of the most versatile neonatal incubators on the market and allows sophisticated monitoring in a temperature controlled and isolated environment.

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