Increase in Ambulance Flights in Iceland Skip to content

Increase in Ambulance Flights in Iceland

Mýflug Air operates an ambulance aircraft on behalf of the Ministry of Health and there is one other aircraft on standby. The number of flights has increased by 11 percent during the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2007.

Last year there were 493 ambulance flights with 533 patients to Reykjavík. “It has increased considerably for the past two years. Then [Air Iceland] decided they wouldn’t transport patients unless they could walk onboard themselves,” Gunnar Björgvinsson, sergeant at the Akureyri Fire Department, told Morgunbladid.

Björgvinsson said he had also noticed an increase in number of lifestyle-related accidents. “Many of these accidents were caused by snowmobiles, four wheelers and motorcycles. Our changed lifestyles are having a great impact.”

For the past few weekends Mýflug Air has been very busy transporting patients to Reykjavík. “We are competing with time with seriously ill patients. Sometimes we lose a patient onboard. Timing is everything and the location of Reykjavík Domestic Airport [in the city center, close to the hospital] is vital in this context,” Björgvinsson said.

Last Friday a man with heart problems was transported from Nordfjördur in east Iceland to Reykjavík. Immediately after the ambulance airplane landed it was called to Akureyri in north Iceland to pick up another patient with heart problems.

On Saturday the airplane was called out because of a man who sustained severe leg fractures in Patreksfjördur in the West Fjords. At the same time the airplane received a priority request to pick up a man with a broken pacemaker and cardiac arrhythmia.

On Sunday the airplane was called out because of a traffic accident in Egilsstadir, east Iceland. Later in the day another call came from Seydisfjördur in east Iceland because of a patient with heart problems.

Despite this high number of call-outs Björgvinsson said the Mýflug airplane is capable to tend to all of them.

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