480.477.7750 | CALL NOW
Cardiac Critical Care

Cardiac Critical Care

Untitled 2.004.jpeg

Transplant cases are the cases that require the most technical proficiency for our team. While we do specialize in ECMO and are accustomed to a number of moving parts to be planned and coordinated for "the dance," moving a transplant patient does not afford the same amount of pre-mission planning. However this last weekend we were contacted to move a patient with a temporary left ventricular assist device who was up against a clock, straining the capabilities of other aeromedical providers.

A RN demonstrates an Impella device. 

A RN demonstrates an Impella device. 

Our patient presented to us with an Impella pump that had been implanted for 6 days and who had not been able to make transport two previous times. Castle Medflight was contacted as the final option by the sending case manager after discovering our history in critical care air transport. An Impella device is a type of temporary heart assist pump that is typically only viable for 7 days before a patient needs to either receive a transplant or be transitioned to a more permanent LVAD platform. What complicated this case was that a heart had already been located for our patient but the previous 2 flight companies were not comfortable with transporting the patient once they discovered that they had suffered from an additional 2 cardiac events and was on the assist device still.

Reassurring the patient, patients family, as well as working alongside the case manager we quickly identified options to move the patient within the rapidly closing window until transplant. We put a countdown timer on the wall and got to work. I still am amazed at how rapidly our team can be ready to roll once tasks are divided among the team. An airframe and crew were alerted and ready to fly within 30 minutes, receiving hospital was notified, transport on both ends was coordinated, landing permissions secured, and when we called the sending case manager back 60 minutes later we informed her all we were awaiting was approval from the insurance company. 

An Impella device implanted in the left ventricle. 

An Impella device implanted in the left ventricle. 

To say the case manager was shocked is an understatement. We settled in for the wait while the bureaucratic processes turned. We were delayed overnight awaiting approval but once we received the approval first thing the next morning our plane was airborne and team was beds in 130 minutes, or the length of an average feature film. Delivering the patient and family member to the transplant hospital another member of our team met the entire crew on ground to ensure that the family was taken care of with a warm meal and care basket waiting completing another successful mission that others said could not be done.

For our patients and their family members we pride ourselves on providing the best critical care, anywhere, especially when working within a narrow window to save a life. 

All The Way Home

All The Way Home

How Castle Medflight provided a pediatric trauma patient with the same specialists for care from point of injury all the way home...

Care in the Caribbean

This weekend was a busy one here at Castle Medflight. Working nonstop we managed to secure our second domestic air transport contract with our second major insurance provider as well as simultaneously flying our first flight for them.  Castle Medflight is known for our ability to support almost all operations within 90 minutes or less of mission alert globally and in this case, it saved a life.


Our patient was transferred from the Caribbean to one of our partnered facilities in Miami for treatment and through the whole process we made sure both the patient and the client were given the best treatment from an American physician at their bedside while sick in the Caribbean down to a luxury full-size SUV to drive the family members from the airport to the hospital where she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a condition in which our patient's immune system was attacking their nerves. In the United States this would be considered an emergency situation on it's own, in the Caribbean being treated by a clinic not capable of diagnosing the condition it could have been fatal. 

At Castle Medflight we handle all details for case managers to allow them to take the time they need to complete their operations instead of worrying about minor details. This is all part of our mission to provide the most trusted critical care, anywhere!

Ebola Specialists

Being the Civil Affairs Specialist means I spend a fair amount of time on social media to identify trends and help deliver the message of the Castle International brand to our followers. Last week I noticed that there was a number of new updates from other air ambulance companies regarding their new containment units designed specifically to handle Ebola patients. While I applaud these new ventures into infectious disease transport I can't help but highlight that it is more than the equipment that creates a safe environment to handle these types of transports. Castle Medflight is capable of handling Ebola and other infectious disease patients through our historical experience with the cases in our partnered organization SPECIAL PROJECTS GROUP. As witnessed from the following news excerpt our team's have had extensive experience and preparation time to handle infectious disease patients. 

 

When we highlight that Castle Medlfight's operations are entrusted to veterans and empowered women we want to emphasize the experience these groups bring to our company. Our veteran staff has had extensive training in Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear, and Environmental containment and treatment procedures during their time in the Armed Forces and have transitioned those skills from the frontline of combat to the forefront of medicine. Equipment such as isolation units are critical to the successful completion of infectious disease transports but it is only half of the equation for success. All of the technology and cutting edge equipment is only as effective as the training backing it, because when it fails it is critical to have experienced minds diagnosing issues and solutions. Infectious diseases such as Ebola can create a worst case scenario at 25,000 feet if containment is broken accidentally, please don't risk your patients with teams who have only attended the course, option instead for the teams that have made it their careers to work with the most dangerous substances man will interact with. 

Castle and Cancer

Castle Medflight has developed our unique specialties due to our own unique experiences. We provide unparralled service in developing countries because we've been the patients that have needed that level of care, we have had team members that have needed ECMO, and in discussing our support for our cancer patients our experiences are no different. Our team provides our excellent level of care because of the battles we have individually faced. 

 

           My grandfather, Dickie Deis, in the #1 chasing another BCRA win

           My grandfather, Dickie Deis, in the #1 chasing another BCRA win

I'm writing today from my own perspective, speaking in my own words, and am only able to relay my own experiences with a disease that racks 12.7 million humans globally. My grandfather fought 3 battles with cancer, finally succumbing to the disease while I was a Soldier in the US Army. 12 years of separation and I still remember my last promise to him before I joined, a promise of seeing him again that I could only fulfill at his funeral. HIs loss created a hole in my heart that no words, and no amount of time, could completely heal. My grandfather raised me in conjunction with my great-grandparents while my mother worked. He was the father figure I didn't have in my life until my mother married my step-father. When he had a stroke in the early 90's and began a series of battles with illnesses that included battles with 3 separate forms of cancer I was alongside for early morning infusions before school, seeing him in rehab facility after rehab facility, followed by acute care facilities. I watched the person who I knew and loved as a mentor slowly succumb to a wasting disease that left him a shell of his former self.

 

A critical care patient being loaded onto one of our airframes

A critical care patient being loaded onto one of our airframes

As I write this I have just received reports from another close friend of positive biopsy results that have ripped the scab off my heart. I am fearful for the future, terrified of a life without another one of my loved ones. My personal hope and saving grace is the outstanding medical care around the country that I can access through my position here at Castle and the ability to transport my own loved one to all care they will need. I know we can access the best doctors, the best medicine, and have in place the best resources to make the transport happen. 

 

When a patient calls and one of our team picks up the phone we mean it when we say we are here to help. Our patients are not just numbers or bottom lines, they are loved ones like ours. We our proud to say we deliver the most trusted critical care, anywhere, because we have been clients as well. As professionals we draw on these experiences to be the change we wish to find in medicine. 

CASTLE MEDFLLIGHT BY © 2016 CASTLE INTERNATIONAL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED