STARS Completes First Helicopter Neonatal Intensive Care Transport In Saskatchewan

An incredible story was released today from STARS!! The new equipment used in the mission received approval late last year, and when the need arose in December 2023, STARS crews were able to respond.

“All of the various care providers involved really worked hard to reach that end goal of getting baby safely and quickly to the Regina General Hospital NICU Department; it was inspiring,” said STARS Flight Paramedic Ryan MacMillan.

Before this, STARS was able to provide transport for the NICU team dropping them off at the patient’s side, after which they would return home by ground ambulance. During these previous missions the isolette was considered “cargo”, and was not ever used for transporting the infant in the helicopter.

Knowing the need would arise to tranport an infant eventually, in 2021 STARS began the many preparations to ensure crews could safely undergo the process. When the most recent fleet upgrade was occurring, a new interface was designed within the helicopter to ensure that the isolette, including the infant and their medical team, would be safe and secure for transport.

STARS also worked closely with NICU teams so they could gain time and experience in the
helicopter including running practice missions.

President and CEO Katherine Emberly: “When a joyous moment, like the birth of a child, takes a scary turn,
families across the prairies can rest assured that a team of STARS critical care specialists are on their way with the best equipment possible.”


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