Emergency helicopter saves sick islander

ANDAMAN SEA: A police helicopter from Phuket braved stormy weather earlier this week to rush a woman with acute appendicitis from Koh Yao Yai to hospital in Phuket Town. The woman, 35-year-old Khun Sukanya Jittanavee, was whisked from the island to Phuket’s Wachira Hospital on Tuesday for emergency surgery, thanks to a new initiative by the Phuket Provincial Health Office to provide better emergency services to those living on islands in the Andaman Sea. Suffering from increasingly severe pain, Khun Sukanya managed to get to the local health clinic, which contacted the Provincial Health Office at 6 pm for assistance. Dr Boonriang Chuchaisangrat, chief of the Provincial Health Office, said that normally a medical boat would have been sent to collect the patient. But that day there were high seas and the boat could not leave port. In addition, Dr Boonriang said, he was worried that Khun Sukanya was suffering either acute appedicitis or an ectopic pregnancy. In either case, she needed to be brought to a hospital fast. Even if the boat had been able to operate, it would have been too slow. He rushed with two nurses to the Phuket Police Aviation Division, where Pol Lt Col Leurgiet Magonpan, the division’s chief, fired up his helicopter. Just 15 minutes after the initial call from Koh Yao Yai, Khun Sukanya and her two brothers were aboard the helicopter, heading back to Phuket Town. She was rushed into the operating theater. Today, looking tired but feeling a great deal more comfortable, Khun Sukanya said that she was very grateful to the helicopter crew and medical staff. She hopes to be home next week. Asked whether flying the emergency flight in bad weather had been dangerous, Pol Lt Col Leurgiet told the Gazette that it had been very dark and the whole flight had to be rushed, but apart from that it was “routine”. Dr Boonriang said that anyone faced with a real medical emergency on any of the islands in the Andaman area should call him or his colleagues on 01-6065347 or 01-9782127 for assistance.

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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