Faster service and better care
People who experience a medical emergency such as a heart attack, respiratory distress, or multi-system failure and people who suffer some form of trauma caused by a car wreck, a fall, an accident at work, a recreational accident, or a crime are all people who may need help from Intermountain Healthcare's Life Flight team.
Life Flight's new home base at Intermountain Medical Center is good news for people who need help because its location in the center of the valley means life-saving care is closer and faster.
What role does Life Flight fill and what are the benefits of its new home base?
Life Flight's helicopters and airplanes are essentially mobile intensive care units. The Life Flight team brings highly specialized care to people wherever they are, stabilize them, and get them to the hospital for treatment as quickly as possible.
Two reasons why Life Flight's move to Intermountain Medical Center is good news for people in Utah:
- Life Flight's helipad is right outside the emergency department, which decreases the time it takes to get the patient from a helicopter into the hospital.
- The hospital's new emergency department, trauma program, and critical care units offer comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for critically ill and injured patients.
Some quick facts about Life Flight:
- Life Flight has transported over 52,000 patients.
- They've flown over 6.7 million miles since our founding in 1978.
- The service transports an average of 10.3 patients every day.
- Life Flight's range varies from 150 miles (for helicopter flights) to 1,000 miles (airplanes); in addition to routine Utah flights when we transport patients from Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and other western states.
- 30% of Life Flight missions involve flights to accident sites, the mountains, etc.; the rest are hospital-to-hospital transfers.
- 53% of all transports involve children.
- Life Flight has four helicopters, which are based in Ogden, Provo, and Salt Lake City, and three fixed-wing airplanes based in Salt Lake and St. George. We also operate a neonatal critical care ambulance in concert with Gold Cross Ambulance.
- The service has six separate teams that use specially-trained crew members and equipment to service different kinds of patients.
- The teams are:
- Pediatric (for children aged 28 days to 14 years old)
- Neonatal (for newborns less than 28 days old and pre-term babies)
- Artificial hearts
- Hoist/search and rescue (which serves as part of local search-and-rescue operations and picks up people in hard-to-reach areas)
Life Flight offers specialized services and equipment. For example, it's the only civilian agency authorized by the Federal Aviation Agency to perform hoist rescues. Its hoist team uses specially-trained staff members and two specially-equipped helicopters to reach people in hard-to-reach areas. The service is especially helpful in search-and-rescue missions in Utah's mountains; the Life Flight hoist team can reach and transport an injured person faster and it can save hours of time for search teams on the ground.
Another example is for night missions, the Life Flight team uses cutting-edge night-vision goggles, which dramatically improve the ability of the team's helicopters to fly at night.