Lehigh Valley Health Network Partners with Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) To Help Ensure Travel Safety
Travelling LVHN physician, answering an airport emergency while waiting for a flight, saw the need for additional medical resources close at hand
In time for the upcoming winter vacation and spring break travel season, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has sponsored the installation of a series of first aid-kits at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE). The kits are designed for the treatment of minor medical incidents such as cuts, scrapes, burns and other simple emergencies. The supplies’ proximity to high pedestrian traffic in the hallways and waiting areas is designed to offer immediate care until onsite emergency medical technicians can arrive.
The idea for the equipment came from LVHN’s Carmine Pellosie, DO, who was off-duty at an ABE departure gate. As he waited for a flight to Florida, which had been delayed, he overheard a somewhat desperate question: “Does anyone here have medical training?”
The call was in response to a passenger’s minor injury, and Pellosie tended to the patient until the airport’s first responders quickly arrived.
The incident got him thinking about the advantage of having first aid supplies – items that could be used by members of the general public with little or no medical training – close at hand.
He took the idea to his LVHN colleagues and proposed a set of first-aid kits strategically placed throughout ABE. The kits would not replace the crew of emergency responders but would augment existing resources onsite.
Late last year, the kits were installed and ready for use.
Nearly 700,000 passengers annually use ABE. Having emergency supplies throughout the airport is a real plus, especially as passenger traffic swells for spring break, according to Pellosie.
“ABE is a local gem,” he says, “In an effort to provide the best possible response to any community member utilizing airport services, I consider the addition of first aid kits advantageous in the unplanned occurrence of injury.
“The equipment and supplies can enhance the ability of a Good Samaritan response by the travelling public until first responders are able to arrive and take control of the situation. I hope that this equipment will never be needed, but if there ever is a need, it’s available.”
Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director for the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA), says: “ABE and LVHN have really grown as partners, a relationship that began when the hospital partnered to create a play area for children waiting for departures. For the airport to be able to work with LVHN to supply these kits helps us both stay very involved with our community.”
“Having these first aid kits throughout the airport can help us in our efforts to make sure that our passengers receive medical attention as quickly as possible. Safety and security for us is paramount. This initiative is one of several strategies for making sure that the public travels through the airport, safely getting from destination A to destination B.”
The first-aid kits, identifiable by their red bags, contain items such as bandages, gauze, a blanket, an ice pack and tools such as tweezers and a thermometer. Contents are arranged in labeled pockets for easy access, and an inside pouch allows for the grouping of smaller items for quick transport.