Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation | TheUnion.com

Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation

In recent years, hospitals have been engaging more and more with business, nonprofits and government to support the health of a community. A little known gem and great partner with Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) is AirMedCareNetwork (AMCN).

An independent company, AMCN is the largest network of air ambulances in the United States with 320 base locations in 38 states, including 37 bases in California, six in Hawaii and six in Alaska. According to Sonja Conklin, membership manager of AMCN, “The local air ambulance providers CALSTAR and REACH are a part of AMCN. Air ambulance services can vary in function with some using planes and some using helicopters. When lives are at stake and minutes matter, air ambulances are often the fastest mode of transport to a facility that offers trauma or other urgent and critical specialty care.”

Many in our community are unaware there is a helipad at the hospital. CALSTAR-Auburn and REACH-Marysville are dispatched by SNMH to provide rapid air medical transport for critical patients, most often transporting them to Sacramento. Patients airlifted out are generally those who need specialized critical care such as trauma, heart surgery, and severe brain injuries. When there is a situation in the field such as on Highway 49 or at a residence, air ambulances are dispatched by the first responder and the 911 system. Patients are taken to the closest medical facility best suited to the medical condition.

CALSTAR & REACH are staffed 24/7 with a pilot, certified flight registered nurse, and flight paramedic. Each base has a designated aircraft technician to assure the safety of the aircraft, crew and patients. The decision of what medical equipment is on an air ambulance is not made lightly. Cost, efficacy, weight, and what will ensure the greatest patient outcomes are all important parts of the decision making process.

Equipment may vary from company to company, but include lifesaving medical devices, stretchers, breathing apparatus, monitoring systems, pacemakers and defibrillators. They can also carry some medications such as anti-coagulants, (blood thinners), adrenalin, beta blockers and many other emergency medications.

Air ambulances are an efficient way of moving a patient long distances or out of remote areas. They are also used in rescue operations. The highly trained medical personnel have to be prepared for everything in order to sustain a patient’s life.

AMCN offers an annual membership that can help protect your entire household. Air ambulances save lives every day, but are costly even with medical insurance. There are no out of pocket expenses for members when transported by an AMCN provider. Annual membership is $85 and with discounts for seniors, businesses, clubs and organizations. AMCN also provides a FlyUHome membership for domestic and international travelers. The FlyUHome membership is widely used by families with college students away at school more than 150 air miles from home. For information please call Sonja Conklin with AMCN at 530-648-6455 or email Sonja.conklin@gmr.net.

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