Response times by helicopter at St. Francis Hospital improved from 5 minutes to 30 seconds with new helipad

11 News this Morning at 6 am
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:13 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Response times by helicopter at a southern Colorado hospital improved from five minutes to 30 seconds thanks to a new helipad.

11 News spoke with Flight for Life Colorado, a non-profit air medical transport program, who just got a new helipad at St. Francis Hospital in northeast Colorado Springs.

“This is an exciting change for us , it’s going to help patient care a lot. We used to be on the ground and it used to be a 5-minute walk with a critical patient from our helicopter to the ER or to an OR, and now we can be down there in a matter of 30 seconds,” said Flight for Life assistant nurse manager Shelby Jackson.

Flight for Life transported their first patient on the new helipad Tuesday. There are five Flight for Life bases, including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Durango, Lakewood and Summit.

“This area is growing and expanding and there is limited access to healthcare, especially for rural Colorado. ... Just that quick access ... like in Calhan, where it has a 30-minute transport time by ground, we could be to the hospital in 10 minutes,” said Jackson.

St. Francis also completed years of construction of their new fifth and sixth floors of the west wing. The fifth floor, opening Thursday, will have 30 new beds for intermediate care, which is between critical care and a regular medical patient. The sixth floor, opening around Aug. 18, will have an additional 30 new beds for post-surgical patients.

“The matter of time can save lives and improve patient outcomes When you have a really bad trauma accident on the side of a road, when they are in need of blood and surgical intervention, that makes a huge difference,” said Jackson.

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