Health Matters: Medical Helicopters

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On an average of 60 times each month, the Lifenet medical helicopter is called into action in Leon County. In this Health Matters, we look at how important this service is to our community.

Emergency Medical Services Chief Dan Moynihan knows how important it is to have access to a medical helicopter with over 700 square miles to cover in Leon County.

Dan says, “It's an incredible area to cover, there's some very urbanized area, there's some areas that are a little more rural and some that would even be considered wilderness.”

What might take paramedics 30 minutes to respond to by vehicle is cut down to less than seven minutes by medical helicopter. It's a difference that could save your life.

Wayne Anthony Sampson, M.D., from Capital Regional Medical Center, says, “Sometimes people in outlying areas can't get medical attention as quickly, so the chopper or helicopter play a crucial role in getting patients to us as quickly as possible.”

Once airborne, the medics on board play a crucial role in patient care.

Wayne adds, “If certain medications are needed they can actually deliver that, so they can do a whole lot prior to the patient getting to the hospital.”

In the event of a serious injury from an accident such as a car crash or rollover, EMS will alert Lifenet which can arrive on any scene in a matter of minutes.

Dan Moynihan, Chief EMS in Leon County, says, “Medics can stabilize them on the scene but the definitive treatment is generally surgery, that means we have to get them to the hospital.”

Having only the highest skilled paramedics on board the helicopter gives our community the type of medical care we've come to appreciate.

The Lifenet helicopter can safely travel at speeds in excess of over 140 mph.

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