SKY-HIGH APPROACH TO SAVING LIVES
BARWON Health’s $11.5 million helipad is regularly helping save lives, averaging almost three air ambulance transfers a week since commencing operations.
The Geelong hospital asset has been used for 196 flights to date, 143 of which were recorded in the 12 months since it opened in June last year.
About 59 per cent of transfers recorded have come from the EMS4 air ambulance based in Warrnambool.
Barwon Health emergency department director Michael Sheridan estimated the average usage was an increase of about 50 per cent compared to the previous helipad.
He said it had improved the ability for patients to arrive at Barwon Health consistently.
“Access to the previous helipad was sometimes limited by the buildings around it, particularly weather patterns that made it difficult to land.
“Now, as one of the highest points in Geelong, it’s always uninterrupted access to the hospital.”
Dr Sheridan said there had been a significant increase in the number of critically unwell people treated locally.
In particular, regular use has been made of the catheterisation laboratory, where procedures are performed on people who have had heart attacks.
“The new helipad and lift