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Mission Impossible - International commercial air transport of the critically ill child


    “Taiwan Can Help”  “Taiwan is Helping”


    In 2016, we cooperated with the Asanga International Aid. (Taiwan NGO) to provide children’s health checkups in Cambodia. At that time, we found a 1.5-year-old child had cyanotic lips and pulse oxygenation level of just 55%. Then he was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries complicated with severe pulmonary hypertension. All the local doctors who had seen him said it was too late to be corrected surgically. In Taiwan and well-developed countries, the patient with transposition of the great arteries will undergo the arterial-switch operation within one or two weeks after birth. The Cambodian child has already missed this golden time for surgery. Complications such as pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension are already very serious. It is an impossible mission for a civil aircraft to transport of the child with severe heart failure from Cambodia to Taiwan.


    In 2019, we supported Asanga International Aid. to complete the impossible mission of a commercial (replaced the Air Ambulance) air transport internationally to transfer the critical cyanotic congenital heart disease child complicated with severe pulmonary hypertension and heart failure. We have published this aviation experience in the international journal @Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians). In countries with insufficient medical resources and limited income, there are still quite a number of similarly ill children who face severe heart failure and try to live without quality of life. We have broken the routine recommended guidelines followed by air transport for our case. This is the first unbelievable case of international commercial air transport, hoping to provide our aviation experience for humanitarian rescue in similar critical scenario, help revise international air transport guidelines, and assist more children under the critical condition waiting for international rescue.


    Thanks to everyone who participated in this transport mission


    Our online article

    International commercial air transport of the child with severe cyanotic congenital heart disease. J Paediatr Child Health. 2021 Mar 3. doi: 10.1111/jpc.15424. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33655580.

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    The flight records for the sick child



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