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STARS crew completes full certification in onboard ultrasound

STARS fights for life
STARS new Onboard ultrasound equipment being demonstrated during a training flight over Manitoba.



Winnipeg, November 17 - All Manitoba-based members of STARS’ air medical crew have completed full credentialing in the use of onboard ultrasound, the first mass training initiative its kind in for air medical crews in Manitoba.

According to STARS transport physician Dr. Tom Jelic, having all air medical crew trained in the use of onboard ultrasound is a major advancement in the care provided to critically ill and injured patients in Manitoba.

“When ultrasound was first introduced on our aircraft, it was only for physician use,” explained Jelic. “Having STARS air medical crews certified to use the onboard ultrasound means we’re able to provide an even higher level of care for our patients.”

Although most people envision ultrasound as a large machine, the units onboard the STARS helicopter resemble a tablet. Being compact and lightweight, they are ideally suited for STARS missions.

Dr. Jelic also notes that the use of onboard ultrasound allows the transport physician on duty to quickly diagnose a patient, even if they are not attending to the patient in person.

“The air medical crew can connect to the transport physician in a secure manner via laptop and, using the crew iPhone camera, allow us to see their ultrasound images in real time,” added Jelic. “We can also help guide them to capture certain images and help troubleshoot any issues. This allows us to see the patient as they’re being treated, notify the receiving facility if they need to prepare for a major procedure, and provides an extra level of support for our crew members. It really is a game-changing innovation in patient care.”

STARS is the first organization of its kind in Canada to do pre-hospital mass training for crew, comprising of nurses and paramedics. STARS is also one of the only pre-hospital ambulance systems with a robust quality assurance program for point of care ultrasound, ensuring that all images are reviewed by point of care ultrasound fellowship-trained physicians.

In addition to Manitoba-based crew, this ultrasound certification is nearing completion for all crew members at each STARS base across Western Canada and is the latest addition to STARS’ extensive education and training program for air medical crew.


Simply put, STARS fights for life. Since we embarked on our first mission in 1985, we’ve been driven by the goal of providing people the vital care they need when they need it the most. Whether it’s offering hands-on training to rural medical providers or providing rapid, emergency medical transportation for the critically ill and injured, we operate 24/7 from bases in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, anticipating and acting when people need our help. Learn more at STARS.CA


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