Children

Up to a quarter of all patients of the rescue helicopter Christoph 4 are children up to 16 years of age – a high number compared to other areas of the rescue service and compared to the fact that children constitute 15% of the region of Hanover's population.

Typical illnesses and injuries in children, such as those affecting the upper airways, seizures or simple falls, can often be treated directly by physicians on-scene and the child can stay within the family. With sudden, serious illnesses or specific accidents such as poisoning, burns, injuries of the mouth and throat as the result of swallowing acidic substances, drowning or serious injuries treatment in hospital is always necessary. Due to time pressure, long distances to the next pediatric clinic, or more comfortable transport conditions the small patients are often transported in the helicopter.

 

Here a particular challenge for the crew is the often emotionally charged situation on scene. The parents are worried about their child's well-being, and often have to hand over helplessly their child to the helicopter crew, without being able to accompany the child, at the same time feeling guilty of negligence. For the crew there is the urge to give more than necessary for the young child; it is clear to everybody that seconds count double: children have much less reserves than adults…

 

In all such cases the psychological burden for everybody involved is enormous and requires apart from specific knowledge an exceptional amount of social competence, a strong awareness of the family's problems and needs, and precisely timed procedures, where no second is wasted.

 

One particular area of training is therefore the training of pediatric emergencies. Here we focus not only on the medical details, such as dosages or specific medical procedures, but also and in particular on the management of the whole situation including personal stress factors under enormous time pressure.