When KateLynne Hummel’s baby had stopped growing at 25 weeks and her heart rate began to drop, staff at Chambersburg Hospital knew they had to act quickly to respond to her changing condition.
“I pushed the flight button and there was an immediate call to the flight team,” said Tiffany Gillette, nurse midwife for Summit Women’s Group.
The process freed Gillette to discuss what would happen next with her patient.
“By the time I got out of the room the flight team was getting off the elevator. The button provided me time at the bedside with the patient instead of worrying about the process of transport,” said Gillette.
Hummel was flown by medical helicopter to WellSpan York Hospital. The trip from Chambersburg Hospital is 21 minutes.
“I’m terrified of heights,” said KateLynne Hummel. “It was a very stressful situation but the team on the helicopter walked me through everything; they were very nice and reassuring.”
Baby Kimber was born by caesarian section at York Hospital weighing only 13.9 ounces. She was rushed for specialized care at the facility’s level-three neonatal intensive-care unit.
Like many medical facilities across the country, Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital are sometimes limited in the advanced care needed by patients with extreme circumstances. That’s why the relationship with the Life Net 81 flight crew, which works day and night to transport patients to more specialized facilities, is important.
“Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital are among the first to request an emergency air medical transport from Life Net 81 with this new and innovative system,” said Ron Brown, of Air Methods, Life Net 81’s parent company.
Previously, details would have to be worked out with a phone call to the flight crew.
“We’ll start to fly and land at the requesting medical facility before there’s an accepting hospital; it saves time, and, ultimately lives,” said Brown.
Time-saving buttons have been installed in several locations in both Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital. When the transport flight is requested, Life Net 81 can be on location in less than 10 minutes.