Record number of ‘lifesaving missions’ for Qld crew

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter crews are giving themselves massive high-fives after a record number of lifesaving missions.

May was one of their busiest months on record, including an increasing number of trauma cases, with LifeFlight doctors attending to 138 serious injuries in May.

The highly-skilled trauma specialists – who work on board all Queensland-based emergency aeromedical retrieval services – performed 428 lifesaving missions last month across eight bases, spanning from Brisbane to Cairns.


That was 27 more missions compared to May last year.

LifeFlight Retrieval Medicine’s Director of Clinical Services and Governance Dr Mark Edwards said LifeFlight doctors ensured world class medical care was available to all Queenslanders – and visitors to Queensland.

“The missions performed last month are a mix of primary missions, which usually involve aircraft landing at the scene of an incident and inter-hospital transfers – where a patient is airlifted from one facility to another,” Dr Edwards said.

“Our doctors never know what they’re going to face, but they’re trained for every type of health scenario whether that’s a motor vehicle accident and keeping a patient stable while emergency services extract them from the vehicle; being winched down to an injured bushwalker in a remote location; or a farmer who’s suffered a traumatic injury on their property.

“Out in the field and in the aircraft, our doctors don’t have a whole hospital worth of equipment so it can be really challenging.”

Chief Operating Officer Brian Guthrie said the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter service continued to be in high demand throughout Queensland because it was often the best option for the patient.

“Given the distance from hospitals and the remote nature of many places in Queensland, sending a helicopter in most cases provides the best outcome for the patient in their greatest hour of need,” Mr Guthrie said.

At any hour of the day, there is an average of two LifeFlight Doctors in the air around Queensland saving lives. LifeFlight doctors treat and transport more than 10 patients every day, reaching almost 5000 people per year.

LifeFlight is a community-based charity that relies on donations from the public and community support.