Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Medical helicopter safety remains Mayo One priority

We are part of The Trust Project.

Between mid-December of 2007 and 2008, there were at least nine U.S. medical-helicopter crashes, resulting in 31 deaths (five patients, 17 health providers and nine pilots).

However, a Mayo One medical helicopter has never had an injury or fatality due to a crash.

Still, Mayo Clinic has not been immune to tragedy.

Late in 2011, a pilot and two Mayo Clinic health providers on their way to get a heart for transplant were killed on a foggy morning when the medical-helicopter they were in crashed in Florida.That helicopter, though, was not Mayo owned or operated.

A Mayo One helicopter also previously reported a "hard landing" in 1994 in Albert Lea due to a mechanical problem. But there were no injuries.


Since then, Mayo has added next-generation night-vision goggles, the latest terrain-avoidance and black boxes to record flight data.

Since Mayo One's first flight on Oct. 8, 1984,Mayo has added a variety of high-tech safety options. For example, it has 26 global-positioning beacons around the region, Lyden said. Those beacons can be used by the pilot to more-safely reach a destination. They give the pilot precise knowledge about distance from the destination at an area hospital.

In fact, many of the safety features recommended in 2009 by Mayo One medical-helicopter experts after a spate of fate crashes around the country have been instituted.

For example, said Glenn Lyden, spokesman for Mayo Clinic Medical Transport, the use of night-vision goggles has increased among providers of medical-helicopter services.

The Federal Aviation Administration has developed a new rule that would require terrain awareness, terrain avoidance, night vision goggles, and global-positioning.

However, Lyden said, implementation of the terrain-awareness requirement, after a public-comment period, was delayed for a few years.Terrain awareness helps pilots know how close a helicopter is to a hill, valley or sides of a ravine.

What to read next
Over more than a decade, the annual fundraising campaign has raised more than $2 million for cancer research at the institute.
In 49 years in medicine, Barb Grant saw the end of the "worst thing" she would have to do for her youngest patients.
Like much of the United States, Minnesota is seeing an early wave of influenza infections this winter. Regional health providers are encouraging flu vaccinations and other measures to help prevent
True or false? Christmas cards can kill. Or, how about this one — during the height of the holidays, more people die from heart attacks than any other time of the year. True or false?