PHOTOS: Landing safely with Swedish hospital helicopter

Hospital celebrates updates to helicopter landing pad

Posted 2/4/19

Patients in their most dire time of need have a safer road to treatment now that upgrades to the helicopter landing pad at Swedish Medical Center are complete. “Safety for the crew and patient in …

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PHOTOS: Landing safely with Swedish hospital helicopter

Hospital celebrates updates to helicopter landing pad

Posted

Patients in their most dire time of need have a safer road to treatment now that upgrades to the helicopter landing pad at Swedish Medical Center are complete.

“Safety for the crew and patient in offloading can be a critical time,” Vicki Owens, vice president of emergency and children's services for Swedish, said at a Jan. 29 event to celebrate the project's end.

Construction began in late October on the upgrades, including a new ramp for the medical crew on foot and updated lighting and canopy to protect crews and patients from harsh weather. The landing pad sits on a rooftop at the hospital, located at 501 E. Hampden Ave. in northeast Englewood.

Kim Smith, a flight nurse who rides in helicopter trips to Swedish, talked about recent updates to two helicopters — one of which made a landing for the crowd on the rooftop for the event. The engines were upgraded in July and October, said Brian Leonard, director of business development for AirLife. That's the emergency transport service of the HealthONE hospital system, which includes Swedish.

“This engine is a game changer,” Smith said.

The added power allows the helicopter to go to higher altitudes in the mountains and take two medical workers rather than one, bolstering a crew's ability to respond.

Swedish's helipad serves flight crews from a multi-state region, including more than a dozen flight companies from the Western Slope to the Eastern Plains, the hospital said in a news release. More than 450 patients arrived at Swedish via helicopter transport last year.

Seriously injured patients, such as victims of car crashes, are often transported to trauma centers by helicopter.

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