The only chance for the 40-year-old to survive was an urgent heart transplant. However, the organ had to be transported from the Pomeranian Voivodeship to Wrocław, where the patient was staying. The policemen helped. They transported the heart on a Black Hawk helicopter. The strong wind did not make the task any easier, but the priority they had in the air and the additional fuel tank made them there within two hours.
Everything happened on Wednesday. The policemen received a call from the coordinator for heart transplantation at the University Teaching Hospital in Wrocław. – We have a 40-year-old patient with severe heart failure and after pulmonary embolism. He is very seriously at risk of stroke. His only chance for further life is an urgent heart transplant. Can you help transport the organ? He asked the officers.
As the policemen say, there was the only possible answer: we will help.
The organ had to be transported from the Pomeranian Voivodeship to a hospital in Wrocław. It was decided to use the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter for the action. The tasks were undertaken by police aviators from the Aviation Board of the Police of the General Police Staff of the KGP.
Every minute counted
The Police Headquarters described the exact course of the event.
The Black Hawk helicopter took off at 5:34 PM from the Warsaw police air base in Bemowo, heading towards the Gdynia-Kosakowo airport. The plan was to fly, refuel and wait for a signal from one of the hospitals in the Pomeranian Voivodeship to be ready to transport the heart for transplantation. As reported by the young inspector Anna Kędzierzawska from the press team of the Police Headquarters, the task was performed by two pilots: insp. pil. Robert Sitek and the commander of pil. Adrian Stefanowski, crew chief, Sgt. pc. Dariusz Mądral and post service mechanic. Wiktor Kruk.
Before 8 p.m., after refueling, the police airmen took off from the landing field next to the hospital in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, from where they took a team of three: a cardiac surgeon, a nurse-instrumentalist and a nurse-instrumentalist, and a heart for a patient waiting in Wrocław for a transplant.
– We did not take into account road transport at all. A distance of over 500 kilometers would take over 5 hours, and as always with a heart transplant, literally every minute counts. There are only 4 hours for organ donation, transport and transplantation – explained Mateusz Rakowski, the coordinator for heart transplantation at the Wroclaw hospital in Wrocław, quoted in the police announcement.
Despite the difficult conditions, they arrived in two hours
At 9:55 pm a police helicopter landed on the helipad at the Wrocław hospital. Five minutes later the heart for the transplant was in the operating theater. – The flight lasted less than 2 hours. And as before, in the case of heart transport, it was performed with the slogan GARDA, which means priority in the air. We performed the task using the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter, equipped with an additional fuel tank, which allowed us, regardless of the weather on the route, to fly several hundred kilometers without additional refueling – emphasized Pil. Adrian Stefanowski. Insp. Pil. Robert Sitek, in turn, noted that the weather conditions during the flight to Wrocław required very high concentration.
– We had 400 kilometers to fly in a straight line, and the unfavorable headwind, reaching 92 kilometers per hour, did not make our task easier. We had to calculate everything so as to safely carry out the transport of the heart in the shortest possible time and we completed this task on time – he explained. According to the police, this is the sixth flight during which police aviators transported the heart for transplant for patients of the Wrocław hospital.
– As doctors assure, “our previous patients” are recovering. So we hope that the 40-year-old, for whom we transported the heart for transplantation on Wednesday, will continue to enjoy life – said the young inspector. Anna Kędzierzawska.
Main photo source: policja.pl