Merciful milestone

Carly Veitch owes her life and the life of her baby to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Carly Veitch owes her life and the life of her baby to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

However, it paled into insignificance when she went into labour at Northam Hospital and haemorrhaged so badly she needed life-saving emergency surgery.

The hospital contacted the Royal Flying Doctor Service and spoke to Dr Andrew Barnes, who was on duty that evening.

He mobilised the RAC rescue helicopter, collected several units of blood from stocks held at the RFDS base in Jandakot and, 20 minutes later, was airborne on the way to Northam.

During the return helicopter flight, Dr Barnes and a paramedic worked hard to keep Carly alive.

‘Carly continued to haemorrhage at a rate faster than we could replace her blood, so we administered adrenaline to prevent a complete collapse of her circulation,’ Dr Barnes said.

By the time Carly reached King Edward Memorial Hospital, she had lost more than twice her blood volume and received nine units of replacement blood.

She was immediately taken to theatre for surgery.

‘I don’t remember much about the flight to Perth, except that I really didn’t want to go’