Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI), WA- A Search and Rescue (SAR) team of six from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Olympic Medical Center in Port Angesles, WA to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Friday, December 29, 2017.
The SAR alert crew received an early morning call for help from Olympic Medical Center staff for an elderly male suffering from an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). The NASWI crew launched at about 3:45AM and arrived shortly thereafter at Olympic Medical Center to conduct patient turnover. After the turnover was complete, the crew transported the patient directly to Harborview Medical Center where a higher level of care was available.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms are most common in older men and smokers. AAA’s often grow slowly, without any symptoms. They can be life-threatening if they rupture. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends ultrasound screening for AAA’s in men ages 65-75 who have ever smoked. The USPSTF also states that current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for AAA’s in women ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked. Read more information about the USPSTF’s recommendations here.
This was the 22nd MEDEVAC of 2017 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted seven searches and 36 rescue missions, delivering 72 lives to a higher level of care.
The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue/MEDEVAC platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation. Persuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines, and agreements.