In 1972 an air emergency service was initiated to serve the population of the mountains surrounding Denver, Colorado. This report describes its development, technical problems, and medical aspects. Requests for service originate from the Colorado State Patrol, Sheriffs' offices, Municipal Departments, and rescue squads; other requests are referred by police. An effective communications network links the helicopters to hospitals, to a ground ambulance company, and to the public via WATS line, radio-to-land telephone, and radio-radio systems; telemetry units will soon link the entire Denver medical community. The French Alouette III helicopter used is especially designed for vertical takeoffs and high-altitude operations. A ground dispatcher with special training coordinates service with ground units and notifies the hospital of the nature of the impending arrival. Flight personnel include pilots on 24-hour call, registered nurses with at least 1 year's experience in surgical or medical intensive care, and a graduate of the Critical Care Practitioner Course, with an orderly assigned to the helipad. Equipment is described, with the drug and cardiopulmonary resuscitation cases given in detail. Patient load between October 1972 and December 1974 was 2,650 patients -- 85 percent by helicopter and 15 percent by fixed-wing aircraft, which are more efficient for long-distance calls. Initial doubts about the ability of the flight nurse have given way to recognition of her expertise, and the system shows increasing use. Eight tables describe the case loads and types of injuries.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the Annual Session of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (35th), Scottsdale, Arizona, 11-13 Sep 75.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Saint Anthony Hospital Systems

    4231 West 16th Avenue
    Denver, CO  United States  80204
  • Authors:
    • Cleveland, H C
    • Bigelow, D B
    • Dracon, D
    • Dusty, F
  • Publication Date: 1976

Media Info

  • Pagination: 12 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00181569
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1979 12:00AM