Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Life-Saving Plane Lands in Region

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Life-Saving Plane Lands in Region

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae

THIS picture shows the life-saving plane that will be used to retrieve organs for transplant. Newcastle's Freeman Hospital team yesterday showed what it was like to undertake the time-critical task of getting a transplant organ for a patient.

The staged mock-up was part of the launch of a specialist aircraft that is being stationed at Samson Aviation Terminal at Newcastle International Airport.

The King Air 200 will be used as a patient transfer and organ retrieval service, helping to reduce NHS transplant costs by a minimum of 22%.

The twin turbo-propelled plane is owned by IAS Medical and it is the first time in two decades an aircraft of this kind has been docked in the region.

Lynne Holt, transplant co-ordinator for the heart and lung programme at the Freeman Hospital, said: "Having a plane like this based in the North East is great.

"It means it is more accessible for hospitals in the region to use and will also save thousands of pounds.

"By having a specialist aircraft dedicated to transplant and patient transfer stationed in Newcastle it will allow us to get teams in the air quicker and we will be able to get a donor organ to hospital as fast as possible."

Hospitals throughout the country can use the aircraft, but those in the North East will get priority. From Newcastle, the King Air 200 can reach 95% of UK, Northern Ireland and Eire airports within one hour and the other 5% within an additional 10-20 minutes.

It can accommodate up to eight passengers or can be configured as a dedicated air ambulance carrying a Lifeport medical platform capable of supporting a patient up to and including intensive care unit cases, together with a medical team and companion.

The aircraft is fully pressurised and operates up to 35,000 feet with a cruise speed of 275 mph and a range of 1,000 nautical miles. …

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