New Program will Connect Terrace Patients to Specialty Care Faster

250 News


March 16, 2012 at 5:14 PM

New Program will Connect Terrace Patients to Specialty Care Faster

By 250 News

Friday, March 16, 2012 03:53 AM


Terrace, B.C. - Patients from the Terrace region who need ciritcal are  at hospital in Prince George or Vancouver, will now get to those facilities faster.

Les Fisher, Chief Operating Officer of the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) has announced that  emergency flights could be  arranged faster. “Before March 1, physicians in Terrace’s Mills Memorial Hospital Emergency Department were the only people who could activate the critical care transport paramedic team and aircraft to rush a critically ill or injured patient to Prince George or Vancouver,” Fisher said. “Now, when paramedics arrive at the scene of a 911 call, they can determine if the patient may need to be
air-lifted to a special-care hospital. They will activate the critical care transport paramedics and aircraft to begin preparing for the emergency flight right away.”
  • Patients would be transported by ground ambulance to the closest local hospital.
  • The emergency department physician would determine if a patient needed to be transferred to a higher level of care.
  • The physician would contact both the BCAS critical care transport program and
    BC Bedline to begin coordinating the emergency flight.
·        This not only used valuable time, but in some cases, the airplane might already be transporting another patient with less serious injuries. This would further delay the flight for the emergency patient.
With the Early Fixed-Wing Activation Program:
  • On-scene paramedics will immediately alert BCAS dispatch if the patient might require transport to a hospital providing specialized care.
  • BCAS dispatch will ‘reserve’ the plane and notify the closest available critical care transport paramedic team to begin preparing for a flight.
  • Paramedics will transport the patient to hospital, and the emergency department physician will decide within 30 minutes whether to evacuate the patient to University Hospital of Northern BC, Vancouver General Hospital or BC Children’s Hospital.
  • If an air evacuation is required, both the plane and critical care paramedic team are available and ready to go immediately.
“Timely care is essential for better patient outcomes, and the early fixed wing activation program will get patients to the right place as fast as possible,” said Dr. John Ryan, BCAS Medical Director for Northern BC and the Trauma Director for Northern Health. “We don’t expect that many patients will need this service, but for those who do, quick access to a higher level of care can make a dramatic difference in their chances of survival and recovery.”

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