19/01/2009

RAF Hercules Airlifts Premature Newborn Twins

Twins born prematurely have been airlifted by an RAF Hercules aircraft from the Outer Hebrides to a hospital on the Scottish mainland, in an emergency rescue operation.

The mother of the babies went into labour at 27 weeks and gave birth in hospital in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis on Sunday.

An ambulance spokesman said a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter carrying medical staff and incubators landed last night in Stornoway to help stabalise the babies. The condition of the twins was thought to be "very poor".

The RAF Hercules aircraft was subsequently called in after severe weather conditions made the transfer to a maternity hospital in Glasgow too dangerous for an air ambulance.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that a Hercules had been sent to Stornoway "to assist in a medical emergency".

The mother is not with the babies, but is in a stable condition and is expected to fly to Glasgow in the next few days to join them.

A Scottish Ambulance Service supervisor said a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter carrying medical staff and incubators had landed earlier on Stornoway to help stabilise the twins.

He said: "We received a call at about 6.30pm last night that a 27 weeks pregnant female was having a twin birth. It is my understanding that the twins were born late last night, but we don't know what their condition is.

"We sent two consultants to Stornoway in the Sea King but, because of forecasts of snow and high winds, we didn't feel it was safe to fly to the mainland."

(JM/BMcC)

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