Coast Guard medevacs woman and newborn

PORT ANGELES, Wash. – The Coast Guard medically evacuated woman and her newborn baby from Willapa Harbor Hospital in South Bend, Wash., Tuesday.

Coast Guard Group Port Angeles received a call at 11 a.m., requesting the evacuation of a 34-year-old woman and a newborn baby in respiratory distress. Airlift Northwest had been called but was unable to accept the mission due to poor weather. Coast Guard Group Port Angeles responded with an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew.

The helicopter crew, Pilot Lt. Keith Trepanier, Co-pilot Cmdr. Keith Russell, Flight Surgeon Cmdr. Jeffrey Salvon-Harman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Duron, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarod Enright, arrived at Willapa Harbor Hospital and immediately assessed the situation. Petty Officer Duron took charge of providing care for the mother while Cmdr. Salvon-Harman took lead with the 6-8 week premature newborn that was delivered by emergency C-section just prior to the Coast Guard’s arrival.

Cmdr. Salvon-Harman determined that a breathing tube was necessary for safe transport of the newborn and successfully inserted the vital breathing tube prior to transport. While the crew flew just above tree top level to avoid low clouds, Cmdr. Salvan-Harmon provided manual breathing for the newborn for approximately one hour.

At the request of the Red Cross, the flight crew then returned to Willapa Harbor Hospital with essential blood supplies enabling them to sustain operations despite being cutoff by flood waters.

The mother and baby were safely transported to the neonatal unit at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore., where they were reported to be doing well.

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