Ornge committed to implementing coroner's recommendations

July 16, 2013
July 16, 2013, Toronto - Ornge, Ontario's provider of air ambulance and related services, welcomes the release of the Expert Panel Report from the Office of the Chief Coroner, and is affirming its commitment to act on the recommendations.

"I want to thank the members of the Expert Panel for their thorough and thoughtful review," said Dr. Andrew McCallum, President and CEO of Ornge. "This report provides much valuable insight into ways we can improve patient care, and we are continuing to work on making the necessary changes to our operations."

Considerable progress has already been made in the areas identified by the Panel, such as decision making, response processes, and aircraft/equipment.  Many of the panel's recommendations have either been implemented or are in progress.  Among them:

  • Installation of the AW139 helicopter interim medical interior to ensure CPR can be performed in the aircraft and to ensure stretcher does not jam during loading and unloading from helicopter;
  • New examination and certification process for Communications Officers in the Operations Control Centre to improve decision making and communications;
  • Revised helicopter "autolaunch" policy for on-scene response to ensure aircraft launches immediately following a weather check;
"A number of the issues raised by the Coroner had been brought to our attention by frontline staff, and we took steps to act upon these prior to the release of the Coroner's report.  The recommendations from the expert panel will build upon this work," said Dr. McCallum.

In August 2012, the Office of the Chief Coroner established an Expert Panel to review deaths in which issues pertaining to air ambulance transport may have affected the outcome, and to identify themes and recommendations aimed at improving care and preventing similar deaths in the future.  Ornge cooperated fully with this review.

Ornge will report back to the Office of the Chief Coroner in the coming months on the progress made on the recommendations.

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