Our Lady of the Lake recently opened a new and expanded helipad to better serve trauma patients across Baton Rouge and the state.
The new helipad is a part of Our Lady of the Lake’s current construction efforts to expand the trauma center and emergency departments for both adults and children, and to earn designation as a Level I trauma center. The new trauma center will provide access to the highest level of care. Currently, OLOL treats an average of 900 trauma patients per year, which is expected to grow as trauma injury increases worldwide.
Today, trauma injury remains the leading cause of death and disability for Americans under the age of 44, with one occurring every four seconds.
"It is crucial to provide care for trauma patients as quickly as possible to improve survivability and quality of life.” said Dr. Tomas Jacome, Chief Trauma Surgeon at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. “Our new helipad and trauma center provide us with a unique opportunity to get the most critically ill patients the care that they need even faster.”
The helipad is a post-tension concrete structure, approx. 10,000 square feet, which is raised 50 feet above street level. It has the ability to support more than 60,000 pounds and can hold two Army Blackhawk Helicopters simultaneously, or up to four regular Medevac Helicopters.
“We are expecting formal designation as a Level II Trauma Center in 2013 as the next step to achieving Level I designation in 2014,” said Dr. Jacome. “Our intention to be a Level I Trauma Center is to minimize the time from an accident or disaster to the injured patient being in an operating room. Time often referred to as the ‘Golden Hour’ saves lives and more lives are saved in communities with a Level I Trauma Center.”
Today in Louisiana, there is a Level I Trauma Center in New Orleans and Level II Trauma Center in Alexandria. Level I Trauma Centers have dedicated resources such as the 24/7 surgeons already at Our Lady of the Lake today, but also have on-site anesthesiologists around the clock.
Trauma patients also have access to Our Lady of the Lake’s specialty services essential to trauma care, including: trauma and neuro critical care; trauma surgery; orthopedic surgery; emergency general surgery; emergency medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oral maxillofacial, plastic and ENT surgery; transfusion medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation; urology; ophthalmology; heart & vascular; anesthesia; radiology; and hospitalists.