Multiple Helicopter Scenes

It is not uncommon for multiple helicopters to land on the scene of a multi-car accident or a single vehicle accident with multiple seriously injured victims.  Assessing, caring for, and transporting multiple victims adds a significant amount of complexity to these scene flights.  With multiple helicopters flying in, it is especially crucial that we heed all the lessons of crew resource management.  Situational awareness both in the air and on the ground is key.  But the challenges of multiple helicopter scenes are not limited only to safety considerations.  Being the first to land on scene, the medical crew needs to effectively communicate with the resources on the ground to identify and triage victims.  The first patient you happen upon is not always the sickest patient requiring your attention.  In addition, since multiple helicopters are landing on scene, it is sometimes the best course of action to initially stabilize and package a patient so that they can be loaded onto an arriving helicopter for the most rapid transport back to the nearest Level 1 Trauma Center.   All these issues and more are discussed in our most recent podcast for the Air Care and Mobile Care Flight Physician Orientation.