photographer — marina balakina
(ekaterinburg)
AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES
The lives of many people in Northern European Russia, who are cut off from the mainland by water and lack of roads, depend on the Air Ambulance Services.The doctors bravely fly to seriously ill patients or to those who cannot otherwise access medical services independently.
Each year, the air ambulance brigades complete over 500 flights and transport over 800 patients in the region, both children and adults. Air ambulance services operate in many Russian regions.

Brigade saved the little girl and her mother from the village on the white sea coast.
The brigade travels either by MI-8 helicopter, or by AN-2 or L-410 aircraft. On board there is everything necessary to provide emergency medical care and even carry out minor surgeries.
More often patients have to be taken from smaller, local hospitals' resuscitation units, which are significantly inferior to larger hospitals in the region in terms of the available medical equipment. Even more often doctors have to act on the spot.
In this photo, the chief medical officer of the Naryan-Mar district hospital and a nurse connect a patient to a defibrillator monitor.
A helicopter pilot unloads mail for people who have been waiting for it for months.
Doctors from the local hospital hand over the child to air ambulance services stuff.
On the helicopter board some people sleep as in a normal minibus. For them, the way to the hospital by air sometimes becomes a familiar thing.
For the residents of hard-to-reach areas they are often the only hope for survival.

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