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January 10, 2018

Training for helicopter-based medical emergencies in China

TRAINING FOR HELICOPTER-BASED MEDICAL EMERGENCIES
IN CHINA

The training was organised jointly by the French Embassy (the department of health and social affairs) and University Hospital No. 1 at Chongqing Medical University. It was supported by the Airbus Helicopters Foundation. Three French experts – Dr Alain Puidupin, Dr Frédéric Chavet and Dr Pascal Zellner – took care of the theory and practical training, stressing the use of helicopter rescues at sea, in the mountains or any other emergency situation.

A large number of rescue and emergency workers were present:

  • the Beijing emergency centre;
  • Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai, the major medical relief teams in Guangdong, Shandong, Hubei, Henan, Sichuan, Chongqing and 18 other provinces;
  • a foreign Master’s student from the Congo;
  • and more than 70 local airline technicians participated in this training.

The opening ceremony of 30 November was chaired by Mr Chen Li, Director of Medical Services, and Ms Zhu Qinlan. The official speeches were read in turn by: Dr Alain Puidupin, Representative of Social Affairs and the French Ministry of Health; Mr Xing Dianguo, Director of Chongqing Emergency Office; Mr Hu Zhen Ming, Vice-President of University Hospital No. 1 at Chongqing Medical University, and Professor Zhou Fachun, Director of Emergency Services.

During this training, three French experts respectively explained the first aid rules of medical helicopter rescue: the effect of the flight on the patient’s physiology and physio-pathology, multiple traumatised victims, non-traumatised patients, the division and cooperation between the medical and non-medical teams, etc. Typical clinical cases and videos were presented to illustrate rescue at sea or in the mountains.

On 2 December, the practical training took place on the landing zone of the private company “Shenji Tonghang” located at the foot of “Jinyun” mountain in Chongqing. In particular, the students were trained on the use of medical helicopter rescue in the mountains, at sea and in any kind of relief situation.

Dr Pascal Zellner, a specialist in mountain rescue with more than 20 years of experience in helicopter relief, stated: “You are so motivated and passionate. It reminds me of my early days in France. I started out in mountain rescue 20 years ago.”

When a student asked: “What is it that makes rescue and emergency workers work in a rather selfless manner?” Dr Zellner replied: “It’s in our genes, our blood; when people need help, we must reach them to save them.” Prof. Zhang, Head of the Resuscitation and Emergency Department at University Hospital No. 1 in Chongqing, said something that touched the French doctors and students: “Medical helicopter rescue is a very sacred and heroic profession; I hope that there will be more and more aeronautical rescue heroes in China.”

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