St George’s helipad receives nearly 200 patients in its first year
Today our helipad turns 1-year old, and it has been quite a year!
- The 25m x 25m helipad, located on the roof of our St James Wing has received 192 patients over the past 12 months. That is an average of 4 patients every week.
- Road traffic accidents (RTA) are the main cause for patients being air-lifted to St George’s with a third of RTA victims suffering a serious head injury.
- 13% of our helipad patients have been classed as ‘code red’ meaning that they have required life-saving blood products (such as a blood transfusion) as soon as they arrived in our emergency department (ED).
- 50% of our helipad patients have required an emergency CT scan so that our ED team could assess them for tissue and bone injuries.
- Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance have flown 83% of our helipad patients to us this year.
Leila Razavi, assistant general manager for St George’s major trauma centre said, “The St George’s helipad opened exactly a year ago today, becoming the second medical helipad in London.
“The addition of the helipad has enabled St George’s to extend its reach, helping to treat severely injured patients from South West London, Surrey and beyond.
“In its first year the St George’s helipad has received 192 patients. This included the first-ever stroke patient transfer where the air ambulance journey took just 30 minutes to cover the 60 miles from Ashford to the rooftop helipad at St Georges, a journey that would have taken well over an hour by road.
“There is little doubt that the ability to fly a critically injured patient directly to a major trauma centre has made a difference to patient outcomes. The avoidance of a lengthy road transfer reduces the time it takes to get these patients to the expert care they so desperately need.”
“We are delighted that HELP Appeal’s £1million donation to its construction, has made such a huge difference to critically ill patients living south of the river and further afield in Kent, Sussex and Surrey.
“Rather than enduring the notoriously busy London traffic, patients now land directly on the hospital roof and are brought immediately to the Emergency Department for the expert care they urgently need.”
Captain Neil Jeffers, chief pilot at London’s air ambulance said, “Within its first year of opening, the St George’s Hospital helipad has been of significant benefit to London’s Air Ambulance and to our friends at other Air Ambulances around South East England.
“As well as delivering patients by air when needed, we can land the helicopter on the helipad to meet our team when they have escorted a patient by land, ensuring we are back online and ready to treat someone else in London more quickly than before.”
“On behalf of our patients and our team at London’s Air Ambulance, many happy returns to the staff at St. George’s Hospital helipad.”
Richard de Coverly, Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance assistant director of operations reflected upon one particular case he remembers well, “I was flying on the helicopter as a critical care paramedic when we were called to an accident at a Soap Box Derby in Warbelton, East Sussex. The location was in the middle of nowhere.”
“If we weren’t with the helicopter it would have been a long way from any hospital, let alone the right one. It was very reassuring that we could deliver advanced treatment and transfer the children to the right hospital in a matter of minutes.
“We went to St George’s Hospital because it is a specialist paediatric trauma centre so it was by far better to take them there rather than to one of the local hospitals from where they would then have had to be transferred.”