Doctors thrilled at safer landing
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.
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.