Doc­tors thrilled at safer land­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - ANNE MATHER

DOC­TORS have wel­comed the ar­rival of a long-awaited he­li­pad on top of a new sec­tion of the Royal Ho­bart Hospi­tal, which they say will save the lives of crit­i­cally ill and in­jured Tas­ma­ni­ans.

Clin­i­cians have been lob­by­ing for years to have a he­li­pad built at the hospi­tal so emer­gency he­li­copters can de­liver pa­tients to treat­ment sooner and re­duce ad­verse out­comes due to tran­sit de­lays.

RHH clin­i­cal di­rec­tor sur­gi­cal and pe­ri­op­er­a­tive ser­vices Mar­cus Skin­ner said the he­li­pad, which was in­stalled yes­ter­day, would dra­mat­i­cally im­prove pa­tient out­comes.

“This will save lives,” he said.

Dr Skin­ner said he had been wait­ing decades to see direct he­li­copter ac­cess to the RHH.

“I grad­u­ated in Ho­bart in 1984 and, as an in­tern here in 1985, we were aware then that we needed a much bet­ter trauma sys­tem in Tas­ma­nia. It’s taken a long time to get here.

“The in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal ev­i­dence clearly shows im­proved clin­i­cal out­come for pa­tients who are brought di­rectly to a trauma cen­tre.”

About 250 ma­jor trauma cases use the emer­gency he­li­copter every year to ac­cess the RHH.

Dr Skin­ner said the he­li­pad would not only ben­e­fit trauma pa­tients, but also oth­ers with life- threat­en­ing ill­nesses such as vas­cu­lar prob­lems or stroke.

The 27m by 23m he­li­pad was in­stalled by crane on the new K-Block roof, as part of the $689 mil­lion RHH re­de­vel­op­ment.

The he­li­pad was put in place while traf­fic was closed in Campbell St, be­tween Liver­pool and Collins streets, while TasGas un­der­took un­re­lated main­te­nance works. The he­li­pad will be­come oper­a­tional mid to late next year when the re­de­vel­op­ment is com­plete.

Pic­ture: MATHEW FAR­RELL

LIFE SAVER: As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Mar­cus Skin­ner, clin­i­cal di­rec­tor sur­gi­cal i l and d pe­ri­op­er­a­tive i i ser­vices, i lf left, and d di­rec­tor di of State Trauma Ser­vices Dr Sandy Zal­stein are happy to see the he­li­pad un­der con­struc­tion.

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