Note: I am NOT an EMT, nor a Doctor, and I am NOT trying to pass judgement on the below referenced professionals….I would assume (and hope!) that they know more about emergency care and transport than I do…..But I do have some questions:
05:25AM: I wake up hearing an unusual disturbance across the street. Look out and there are lots of emergency vehicles in a (more or less) circle around a field. I have seen this before: Someone is going to get a helicopter ride to a hospital.
05:43 AM: Helicopter wakes me up as it lands across the street: this has happened before as the field is convenient for Lifeflight copters to get into and out of.
06:10 AM: ambulance arrives (presumably) with patient.
06:54 AM: Lifeflight helicopter takes off.
Question: Does the 44 minutes on the ground loading the patient not negate the “Golden Hour” when you have at least a 20 minute flight time (even by air and with priority routing) to a Level One Trauma Center?
I mean, on a Sunday morning, I could have driven 3/4 of the way to the nearest Level One Trauma Center in the time they spent loading the patient before taking off (without lights and sirens and just driving normally) . Add in the flight time, and I could have the patient at the same place in the same amount of time. Possibly less.
Seriously. And that is assuming that they went to a Level One center. A Level Three center is much closer and likely faster by ground ambulance.
Generally the time between ambulance arrival and helicopter departure is like 10 minutes MAX. Not so this time.
As the ‘copters engines were shut down, I could hear the laughing and joking going on by the assorted crews. No real sense of urgency.
Now, while I really don’t want to criticize the emergency responders (and I must point out that I do not know the nature of the injury) I do have a few questions:
If the injury is serious enough to require a whirlybird ride to a trauma center, why no rush to get the patient there? Why spend all the time on the ground? I was serious about being able to drive most of the distance in the time that they sat, with the patient, on the ground. I don’t know what the cost is for a helicopter ride, but it has to be HUGE. (I also need to point out that I don’t know the details of the incident, but it looks strange from here)
If there was no rush, then why the ‘copter? If the ‘copter was needed, then why the delay?
Enquiring minds want to know, and all that…..
Interestingly, Ambulance Driver has a comment on this subject as well