New Helipads at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Benefit Accident Victims
Patients who suffer critical injuries in a car crash on the roads of Virginia or require the kind of medical treatment most hospitals cannot provide are transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. To allow the more efficient treatment of patients Sentara recently built two rooftop helicopter landing pads to complement the existing helipad on the ground. The roof landing areas are part of a five-year expansion program at the hospital. A Coast Guard helicopter aircrew performed the first landing at one of Sentara’s new helicopter landing pads on April 10, 2019, the local media reported.
The helipads will allow hospital staff to move patients quickly after serious accidents. Although air ambulances are most likely to transfer auto accident victims, they are also used for people who suffer falls or serious injuries at facilities like the shipyards. The military additionally uses the helipads to transfer injured people from ships or other facilities.
Denise Baylous, the program manager of the Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, said these elevated pads, more than 260 feet above the ground, make the transfer of patients safer because the process is clear of obstacles. Sentara’s Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance conducted a test landing in late April. Sentara officials said in a news release Nightingale conducted 722 flights in 2018. Military helicopters landed at the hospital 21 times.
The hospital also conducts regular training exercises with the Coast Guard and Navy to perfect safe patient hand-offs and to streamline patient care. Our Norfolk based car accident injury lawyers welcome the new helipads as time is of the essence when a patient suffers severe injuries.
What Are Virginia’s Level 1 Trauma Centers?
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has been a level 1 trauma center for almost 35 years. The hospital is one of five Level I centers in Virginia. Two of them are state university hospitals, Sentara states on its website. Sentara partners with surgeons from Eastern Virginia Medical School to give the hospital the highly specialized surgery skills required to maintain a Level I trauma center. Other surgeons work on the program through a call system that maintains readiness around the clock, 365 days a year.
Virginia’s five level 1 trauma centers for adults are as follows.
- Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke;
- Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church;
- Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk;
- University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville;
- VCU Health System, Richmond.
Additionally, Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk and VCU Health System are level 1 pediatric centers.
Why do Patients Need Air Ambulances in Norfolk?
Although air transportation is associated with critical injuries, there are dozens of reasons why a patient may need to be transported via a helicopter. They include:
- Trauma – Patients who suffer serious injuries like head injuries often use air ambulances, particularly if they are in remote areas. Virginia’s level 1 trauma centers are all located in urban areas and there are no centers in the state west of Roanoke.
- Traffic accidents – On occasions, an air ambulance can reach the scene of a serious wreck more quickly than a land ambulances.
- Organ donations – If a patient needs an urgent transplant an organ may be flown in by helicopter.
- Rural patients – In remote and mountainous parts of Virginia, ambulances are sometimes used to pick up patients with injuries or serious health conditions if it will take a long time for ground ambulances to arrive.
- Elderly people – When older people get hurt they are more likely to suffer serious effects or die from their injuries unless they can be quickly transported to a medical center.
- Burns victims – Burns victims often suffer extreme pain and transportation can be an ordeal. They typically require treatment at a specialist medical center hundreds of miles away. Air transportation can be the best option.
- People trapped or stranded – People who are trapped or stranded on mountains or other remote locations may require a medical air flight.
- Sailors and people injured at sea – When sailors get hurt, helicopter rescue can be the only means of getting them safely ashore. Coast Guard and Navy helicopters also use the helipads at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
- Transplant patients – If you require a transplant, you may be able to use an air ambulance if you are not able to travel long distances for surgery.
- Disaster victims – Helicopters come into their own in the aftermath of a disaster like a hurricane. Low lying areas such as Hampton Roads can quickly flood, leaving people stranded and requiring urgent medical care.
Learn More from Our Norfolk Injury Lawyers
We hope you never require air transportation. However, we welcome the expansion of services at Sentara. If you or a family member suffers a severe injury in Virginia, talk to a lawyer about a potential claim against the person who caused the accident. Call out Norfolk based injury team today.