Presented by Clinton van der Westhuyzen, Rescue Crewman/Critical Care Paramedic on the RAC Rescue Helicopter out of Jandakot and Bunbury. In our well developed, first world environment of Western Australia, incidence of paediatric trauma is not a frequent event in comparison to the developing world. However, our developed society does not make us completely immune to such occurrences.
The EMS model adopted in Western Australia dictates that professional prehospital emergency care is only established within the metropolitan areas, leaving the peripheral and country regional areas to be covered by volunteer first aid with selected areas having limited access to paramedic support.
As a result, the deployment of professional critical care via emergency rescue helicopter allows for access to and transport of critically injured children to the Perth Metropolitan paediatric trauma centre (Princess Margaret Hospital).
The system, which presents it’s own unique challenges, aims to get the right patient to the right hospital at the right time by the right mode of transport.
Bio – Clinton van der Westhuyzen Clinton graduated from the Durban University of Technology, Natal South Africa in 1996, gaining registration with the Health Professions Council as an Advanced Emergency Care Practitioner. As well as providing prehospital care through high volume EMS systems in South Africa for both government and private organisations, Clinton was actively involved in education in areas of critical care and rescue for university based courses. Clinton then took up a position with the Saudi government as a member of the emergency department team for the National Guard in Riyadh. Here, he was a member of the cardiac arrest code team within the hospital as well as being responsible for early intervention for those patients arriving by private transport and ambulance and during critical care inter facility transports. During his time in Saudi Arabia, Clinton was a faculty member at the Post Graduate Education Centre at King Fahad Medical Centre where he provided instruction on Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Prehospital Trauma Life Support courses.
After leaving Saudi in 2003, Clinton decided to return to his passion of aviation medicine and took up a position as the Flight Services Manager for International SOS in Asia. Initially based in Taipei, Taiwan and then Beijing China, Clinton was responsible for the maintenance and delivery of international medical evacuations by both commercial carriers as well as dedicated air ambulances.
In 2006 Clinton joined St John Ambulance in Western Australia and initially worked as an operational paramedic and then a Clinical Support Paramedic. Clinton now works as a Rescue Crewman/Critical Care Paramedic on the RAC Rescue Helicopter out of Jandakot and Bunbury.