A critically ill patient in Norway was saved thanks to the quick thinking of medical personnel which opted to use F-16 fighter jet to rush specialized medical equipment halfway across the country in minutes.
According to The Guardian, the patient direly needed a special lung and heart procedure, called the ‘extracorporeal membrane oxygenation,’ unfortunately, the hospital in the town of Bodø in central Norway lacked both equipment and skills to perform the operation.
However, a hospital in Trondheim, situated some 450km south, did possess the machines. Therefore, the staff contacted the air force on April 4th for help in transporting the equipment. Fortunately, the request reportedly came just as two F-16 fighter jets were preparing to take off from an airbase nearby.
As Independent reported, Lieutenant Colonel Børge ‘Gaff’ Kleppe, leader of 338 Squadron, told local media outlet, “Chance would have it that we had two flights bound for [nearby] Moss on an exercise."
“One of them had even a cargo tank where there might be room. I called and asked them to keep (back) one plane, while we checked on it (for) all the possible places which could accommodate the machine.”
“Usually we spend about 35 minutes in flight,” said Lt Col Kleppe. “But because of the special cargo, the pilot gave a little extra, so he was there in less than 25 minutes.”
Therefore, within 40 minutes of the call being received, the medical equipment had been delivered to the hospital in Bodø, as a result saving a precious life.