(Pasco, WA) — UW Medicine’s non-profit air medical transport service has opened a new base at Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco. Airlift Northwest’s new base began operations in September with a Pilatus PC-12 turboprop airplane. The aircraft can hold patients up to 450 pounds and land on smaller runways in rural communities.
The planes are staffed by two critical care flight nurses, and carry ventilators, glidescopes, ultrasound, and hydraulic cranes. They can transport patients on a device similar to a heart-lung bypass machine.
Aries Gum, a flight nurse and base manager for Airlift Northwest says it is a flying ICU, that can quickly and safely get patients where they need to go for comprehensive care while also caring for them in flight.”
“Airlift Northwest is the only air medical transport service in the region that has two units of blood and plasma at every base, which are proven to increase survival rates for trauma patients when transfused in flight,” said Dr. Rich Utarnachitt, Medical Director, Airlift Northwest. In the last year, 124 patients received blood products en route to emergency facilities.