Providing care up North – Story of a Medevac emergency airlift


July 27, 2018

9:45 a.m.

In Ivujivik, the most northern village in Quebec, 1,900 km north of Montreal, a resident needs to be airlifted by Medevac (emergency air ambulance service). The Puvirnituq hospital team receives the request for medical travel.

10:07 a.m.

Véronique Tardif, an on-call nurse, arrives straight from another medical airlift that took place earlier that morning. She provides care to the patient during the medical travel. In the background is the van that transports the medical material to the airport.

10:14 a.m.

Dominique Trudel, a nurse, joins her colleague. They discuss the patient’s case.

10:28 a.m.

In the van on the way to the Puvirnituq airport, the two nurses document medical information.

10:32 a.m.

The medical material is transferred from the van to the plane.

10:44 a.m.

After takeoff, the nurses prepare the medical devices and equipment. They head to Ivujivik at 1,200 feet of altitude. The flight time is estimated at 75 minutes.

11:55 a.m.

They land in Ivujivik: the patient is waiting for the plane in a medical van.

12:04 p.m.

The staff transfers the patient to a stretcher adapted for the plane.

12:23 p.m.

The patient is now aboard the plane. The nurses give the patient some medication before they give the pilot the okay for takeoff.

12:24 p.m. to 1:22 p.m.

The nurses monitor the patient and administer care throughout the flight.

1:36 p.m.

Once they land at the Puvirnituq airport, the paramedics take over the patient’s care.

1:44 p.m.

The patient rides by ambulance from the airport to the Puvirnituq hospital. The nurses have achieved their mission. In the photo, Véronique Tardif and Dominique Trudel are with Raphaëlle Blondin, a medical student who is job shadowing.


July 27, 2018

Due to the patient’s condition, he must be transferred to a hospital in southern Quebec. The patient is taken by ambulance to the airport where he will board with healthcare professionals in Quebec’s medical jet.

Quebec’s medical jet leaves the Puvirnituq airport and heads to Montreal or Quebec City.

In 2017-2018, there were 1,872 emergency medical transfers in Quebec. This number is expected to increase as the population grows and ages.