Air Corps to cater for UK transplant list patients
PATIENTS on transplant waiting lists in the UK will be catered for if they receive an urgent call for an operation, health authorities said last night.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has not yet faced any emergency situations since commercial air travel has come to a standstill.
But the flight disruption has brought added anxiety to at least six patients who are on transplant lists in the UK, mostly for heart and lung operations, as they wait for the call which could signal an organ match has been found.
The HSE has an agreement with the Department of Defence which allows it to call on the services of the Defence Forces if an emergency situation arises. This would see the Air Corps being asked to fly the patient to the UK at low altitude.
"We will make every effort to ensure that patients and services continue to be fully catered for," a HSE spokesman said.
Philip Watt of the Cystic Fibrosis Association said few people with the condition now have to go to Newcastle for transplants and said there had been no reports of difficulties.