CEGA Air Ambulance recently united its medical and aviation teams with its specialist NHS partners for a simulation training day in its fixed wing air ambulance - the first training initiative of its kind to involve all three disciplines.
The aim of the exercise was to reinforce a positive safety culture by enhancing understanding between multidisciplinary crews in a potential in-flight medical or aviation emergency, without risk to patients.
Whilst simulation training has been on CEGA’s agenda since 2012 for its medical and aviation crews, the provider has not, until now, integrated the NHS partners who charter its air ambulances.
“The 20 pilots, doctors, nurses and operations staff were given pre-mission briefs on realistic in-flight aviation and medical emergency scenarios,” says CEGA’s Senior Nurse, Stuart Cox, about the day. “These ranged from a patient in need of emergency intervention to a smoke-engulfed or pressure-reduced cabin.”
“A high fidelity patient simulator was used to create a close to real-life scenario and remotely controlled with a live video link to all delegates involved in the exercise,” added Stuart. “It had all the physiological features of a live patient, including breathing functions, a pulse and blood pressure.”
An open-dialogue debrief concluded the training session and encouraged participants to identify positive learning and areas of improvement - enhancing their skills in crew resource management, communication, clinical practice and emergency action plans. Later, post-training feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
CEGA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tim Hammond, commented: “Simulation training in an aircraft can provide medical crews with valuable hands-on experience in a safe and controlled environment: promoting teamwork and good communication".
Quarterly simulation training is part of the mandatory training programme for the multidisciplinary team at CEGA and is testament to the provider’s commitment to be at the forefront of innovative patient safety and aviation initiatives. Bespoke simulation training is also provided to clients.
CEGA has global repatriation capabilities, thanks to its dedicated fleet of air ambulances and international network of partners.