During lunch on the 4th of April the hospital in Tromsø called the hospital St.Olavs in Trondheim and asked to send them the equipment for ECMO – extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a special lung and heart procedure. The devices the Tromsø hospital had were already occupied by other patients. But the situation was acute: a man was going to die. St.Olav could lend them ECMO-equipment but had no possibility to transport the machine to Tromsø in such a short time period. Then the doctors decided to contact Norwegian air force. Anders Wetting Carlsen from the hospital in Trondheim said there seemed no other way to save the patient, reported Adressa.
The armed force squadron leader Børge “Gaff” Kleppe told VG that there was a number of lucky coincidences that made the mission possible. If the hospital called half an hour later, the aircraft would already be heading south. And such planes usually fly without cargo tanks. “But it was nice we could help”, – adds Kleppe happily. Usually the flight would take 30 – 35 minutes, but, given the special nature of the cargo, the pilot made it in less than 25 minutes to Bodø, where the equipment was further transported to Tromsø.
It is very unusual for the military defence to help the civilians so directly. The family of the saved patient sends letters of thanks to the defense for their help.