Editorial: Three reasons Why We Need a Heliport


 
 

| Friday, December 14, 2007


CHICAGO -- Matt Kazlauski, 12, almost lost a leg when he was 5 years old after a riding lawn mower accident at his home in Aurora. Jake Byers, 10, of Oak Brook, was hit in the head by a baseball while playing catch. Lindsay Matthias, 12, was rushed to a hospital in Kankakee with flu-like symptoms that turned out to be severe blood poisoning.

These children and several hundred others over 20 years have been flown by helicopter to Children s Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park. In all that time, not one helicopter has crashed on its rooftop heliport, according to a Children s Memorial report. There are 138 hospital heliports in Illinois, and none of them has had an accident either. Safety is not an issue for the patients or the people who live and work around these hospitals.

Safety is an issue for the young patients who have used Children s helicopter facilities. In the past six years, officials say, its heliport has been used for an average of 73 children a year, or about six a month.

The landing pad at Children s has been used sparingly to transfer donor organs and critically ill and injured patients for treatment when delays caused by street traffic could mean the child will die.

Time is of the essence in cases like this, said Matt s mother, Michelle Kazlauski, who said the lawn mower severed the main artery in his left leg and partially amputated his left foot.

His injuries were so severe the ambulance driver didn t want to take him to the local hospital. They called the dispatcher and said, We need a helicopter now. I absolutely think it saved his life.

Now Children s wants to build a 22-story hospital in Streeterville, where it would be close to other medical facilities. This page has argued that the new location for Children s Memorial Hospital in Streeterville next to Northwestern University s Feinberg School of Medicine makes sense and that the quibbling over a heliport s safety is without merit.

Residents in nearby condos, represented by the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, object to the heliport, citing noise and the possibility of a crash. Even if the Chicago Plan Commission approves the hospital and heliport, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration would still need to OK its use.

Hospital officials say a heliport is an absolute necessity, and we agree. Seconds count in medical emergencies. No sick or injured child should die while waiting to be transferred by ambulance in heavy traffic: Chicago area highways are rated the third most clogged in the nation.

Steve Byers said a five- or 10-minute delay of emergency surgery could have left Jake permanently brain damaged or dead.

The probability of a helicopter crash is remote, he said. The probability of a kid dying because he doesn t get to a hospital in time is not.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New York First Responders Take Extraordinary Steps to Help Residents

Snow causes fire and EMS crews to go beyond call of duty.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Raw Video: Explosion and Fire at California Business

Over a dozen hurt in Santa Paula blaze.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Workers Killed at Texas Chemical Plant

Five employees exposed to methyl mercaptan in La Porte.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Worker Killed in North Carolina Bridge Collapse

A fatal construction site collapse occurred in Wake County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crashes into Chicago Home

Pilot reported engine trouble after takeoff.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Switzerland Landslide Kills Two, Injures Four

Slide hits residential building near Lugano.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

World Trade Center Rescue

Technical rescue work is done at nation’s tallest skyscraper.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >