NORWICH – UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich is taking steps to radically reduce the time it takes to transport patients to intensive care centers outside the area.
In November, Dr. Peter Gordon, head of Emergency Services at Chenango Memorial Hospital, spoke with city officials about a proposal to allow medical helicopters to fly in and out of the city. According to Gordon, designation of a helipad on the west side of UHS Chenango Memorial on Broad Street would create an opportunity for just that.
“We are a small rural hospital with limited resources and we’re relatively isolated from larger care centers,” Gordon explained. “We live right at an edge where the extra time it takes to transport patients in need of intensive care on the ground doesn’t benefit anyone.”
Patients who need to be airlifted from UHS Chenango Memorial are currently transported via ambulance to the Lt. Warren E. Eaton Airport, approximately two miles north of the hospital. But despite the relatively short drive, the process of actually getting patients in the air perilously more complex. EMS workers are required to make two trips between the hospital and the airport; one trip for medical crew and equipment, and another for the patient.