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Mafuwe Evacuation – Elephant Roadblock Featured

Mafuwe Evacuation – Elephant Roadblock

Awesome Air Evac (AAE) was recently requested to evacuate a patient with a suspected broken pelvis from a bush camp in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.

There were no medical facilities or resources available in the area to assist the patient, so AAE dispatched an emergency medical doctor and intensive care nursing sister to stabilize and evacuate the patient to Johannesburg for medical care.

South African doctors and nurses are known to improvise when necessary – and our team converted the bush lodge’s airport shuttle bus into an ambulance using the aircraft stretcher.

On arrival at the patient’s cottage, the medical team had to literally dodge an elephant casually eating leaves off the roof of the neighbouring cottage.  While preparing to load the patient into the newly converted ambulance, the doctor turned around to find a vervet monkey sitting on the stretcher inside the ‘ambulance’! That would have been an interesting conversation with Port Health officials upon landing at Lanseria!

The pilots were notified of an unusual roadblock causing a 20 minute delay in the medical team’s return to the airport. Another huge male elephant was in the only road out of the bush lodge. The medical teams are dispatched with a full set of intensive care medications to cater for unexpected twists and turns on a mission. The patient was lightly sedated, while they enjoyed watching and waiting for the African giant to amble out of the way.

Never a dull moment in Africa! Well done to the Awesome Air Evac team for the improvisation and the successful completion of the mission.

For further information contact:

Andy Druyan

Awesome Base

38 Newton Road

Perth Airport

Western Australia 6105

Mobile: +61 406 779 630

Tel:  +61 (8) 6189 0700

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Visit the Awesome Air Evac micro web site on iPMI Magazine, click here.

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