A critically ill patient has been evacuated from the Orkney Islands by the Royal Air Force.
The 46-year old patient was flown today from Kirkwall to Glasgow by an Atlas (A400M) transport aircraft carrying a critical care team. The incident was not related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The emergency flight was scrambled from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on Saturday morning when the critically sick patient’s condition deteriorated further. They were flown from Kirkwall to Glasgow and transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the city.
An RAF spokesperson said:
“The NHS called on the Royal Air Force when the patient’s condition started to deteriorate and became life-threatening. They needed more specialist care. Using the Atlas (A400M) rather allowed a medical team to treat the patient during the 40-minute flight.”
The patient had been hospitalised in Kirkwall where doctors took the decision to transfer him when they assessed there was “a risk to life”.
— Iain Stewart Chief Executive Designate NHS Orkney (@IainStewartNHS1) April 4, 2020
This is the second medical evacuation by the RAF from the Scottish islands, on March 22 an RAF Atlas (A400M) flew a critically ill patient from the Shetland Islands to intensive care in Aberdeen.
The Atlas (A400M) entered service with the RAF in 2014 and is ideally suited to the evacuation role. At a top speed of over 500 miles per hour it can carry 37 tonnes over a distance of 2,000 nautical miles up to 40,000 feet. It can land and take off from semi-prepared airfields, small landing strips and even beaches.