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|Glenwood unveils helipad|
Pafford Air One touched down at Glenwood Regional Medical Center for the first time last week to mark the official unveiling of the hospital's new helipad.
The helipad is located adjacent to the educational complex parking lot at Glenwood in West Monroe. The newly constructed helipad was completed in March.
Glenwood CEO Ron Elder said the hospital has enjoyed regional services with air ambulances for a number of years. It was a problem, though, in not having a location on hospital property to land a helicopter, Elder said.
"Well, I guess we've answered that question today," Elder said. "This really has given us an opportunity to bring our patients closer to our emergency room. If we have patients we have to transfer to other facilities, then Air One can come in and be close to us."
Timing is everything in medical emergencies, Elder said, and prior to building a helipad at Glenwood, it could take up to 15 minutes to transport patients from Glenwood to a location where helicopters could land.
"Those 15 minutes to transfer patients could be a matter of life or death, so this is a major accomplishment for us," Elder said.
He said the helipad was one of several projects which began at Glenwood more than a year ago. The hospital remodeled a number of its operating rooms and added a new warehouse on hospital property. The capital improvement projects totaled some $2.5 million.
"We are a regional medical center and to be a regional medical center you really need to reach out and touch the various communities in your region," Elder explained. "With this helipad service we have now, it will truly make that more accessible and allow us to do this more than we've done in the past."
Tommy Anderson, chief flight paramedic for Pafford Air Ambulance, said the company's helicopters used to land in a nearby parking lot when servicing Glenwood. AMR Ambulance would transport patients to the parking lot from the hospital.
"This decreases our point-to-point contact time," Anderson said of being able to land a chopper near the hospital.
"It's truly a blessing to have this helipad here," he said. "It will totally decrease our response times."
It takes roughly 40 minutes to fly a patient from Glenwood Regional Medical Center to the region's nearest level one trauma center in Shreveport.
The American College of Surgeons says a critically injured patient's chances of survival decreases dramatically if that patient does not arrive at a level one trauma center within one hour from the time of injury.