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GI bleed: how to prevent a bloody mess on your flight!


Jorinde Helmich
Royal Adelaide Hospital, MedSTAR Emergency Medical Retrieval



Dr Jorinde Helmich is an Emergency Physician from the Netherlands and has been in Australia since 2014.  From 08/2016 till 02/2017, she worked as a Retrieval Registrar for SAAS MedSTAR, the state-wide Emergency Medical Retrieval in South Australia, before returning to her post at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the tertiary and trauma centre in Adelaide.


A 43 year old female known with alcoholic liver disease presents at a rural hospital with massive hematemesis and rectal bleeding. By helicopter, she is at least an hour away from definitive care. What are the options to take her safely to her destination?

This case will be used to dig into the current evidence about the procedural and pharmalogical treatment options of oesophageal variceal bleeding, especially in the context of aeromedical retrieval. Emphasis will be placed on the usefulness and complications of the Sengstaken-Blakemore tube, the aids to confirm correct position and potential alternatives that could prove a safer option in the future.

Using a case, this presentation will illustrate the current best practice for a massive gastrointestinal bleed in the aeromedical retrieval setting, and highlight potential future management options and their use in aeromedical retrieval medicine.



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