News in Brief

HUP, HUP and Away...Again

A second helicopter has been added to PennMed's PENNSTAR (PENN Specialized Tertiary Aeromedical Response) program, making it the first medical center in the Philadelphia region to use two such aircraft for flying patients directly to trauma care.

Staffed by a pilot, a nurse and a paramedic, the helicopter performs inter-hospital transfers and flies patients from emergency scenes to trauma centers. Unlike ordinary land emergency services, PENN-STAR carries units of blood, and its nurses and paramedics can administer more advanced drug therapies when intubating patients.

The second helicopter is based at Wings Field in Whitpain Township, Montgomery County--whose residents account for the largest number of flight missions, according to Dr. C. William Schwab, chief of the division of traumatology and surgical critical care at Penn. "Having this second aircraft will enable us to dramatically decrease the response time to patients who require the specialized care of a trauma center," he said.

Penn's first helicopter, which continues to fly from its helipad atop the Medical Center, operates from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. The new one based at Wings will be in service 24 hours.

Since its inception in June of 1988, PENNSTAR has flown more than 4500 patients, all in accident-free missions. The territory encompasses approximately a 70- to 90-mile radius of the Medical Center; from Harrisburg to the west, Washington, D.C. to the south, New York City to the north, and Cape May to the east.

Safety Update


Volume 43 Number 9
October 22, 1996

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