LVHN Introduces New MedEvac Helicopter to Northeastern Pennsylvania Fleet
BY KATIE CAVENDER
“No matter what hospital in the health network patients visit, they have the backing of an entire health network,” says John Fletcher, President, Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Hazleton. With that in mind, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) introduced an EC-145 helicopter yesterday during a virtual event at Hazleton Regional Airport.
Speakers included Fletcher; Andrew Miller, DO, Acting Vice Chair of Emergency and Hospital Services at LVH–Cedar Crest and Emergency Room Medical Director at LVH–Hazleton; Nathan Hagstrom, MD, Chair, LVHN Department of Pediatrics; and Keith Miccuci, Emergency Medical Transport Administrator.
The EC-145 helicopter enhances the health network’s continuum of care in northeastern Pennsylvania and features a larger cabin which allows additional members of the care team and equipment to be used in flight.
“Patients who normally would require ground transport due to lifesaving equipment and care team members who need to accompany them, can now be flown to the Lehigh Valley,” Fletcher says.
Extra space for the smallest patients
“NICU patients often require space for equipment such as an isolette, which keeps the baby warm during transport, ventilator equipment with oxygen, cardiac monitors and IV pumps in addition to the care team,” Hagstrom says. “This aircraft provides the space needed to help these little patients arrive to Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital quickly while receiving the acute care they need.” At Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s hospital, patients have access to over 30 specialties, just for kids.
Lehigh Valley Heart Institute services offered in flight
Patients requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, also will benefit. ECMO is often used for patients who have heart failure, cardiogenic shock or cardiac arrest. During the procedure, blood is drawn from the body and run through a machine that acts as an artificial lung. It requires an in-flight team of at least three people – a critical care transport registered nurse, critical care transport paramedic, perfusionist, and sometimes even a cardiothoracic surgeon. Today, these patients can be connected to all the services of Lehigh Valley Heart Institute in a fraction of the time through MedEvac air transportation.
Lifesaving transport with LVHN Medevac
LVHN partners with Air Method to operate a fleet of four helicopters in northeastern Pennsylvania. All MedEvac vehicles, whether helicopter or ambulance, are staffed by experienced critical care professionals capable of administering care beyond the scope of Advanced Life Support ambulances. LVHN MedEvac air medical program began operations in 1981 as the first air medical transport services in northeast Pennsylvania. Over the last 39 years, they have completed more than 40,000 missions traveling as far as Massachusetts and Ohio to transport patients.
The EC-145 will be centrally located in a hangar at Hazleton Regional Airport and will serve Luzerne, Schuylkill, Monroe and Carbon counties for patient transport.
For more information about our MedEvac program, please visit LVHN.org/medevac.