Anniversary: A Look at One Year of Air Medical Transports in CNY

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St. Joseph's Health Care Flight Helipad

Since its opening last October, Care Flight at St. Joseph’s Health Hospital has saved numerous lives and provided timely emergency care to cardiac, stroke and shock patients across Central and Northern New York. As we approach the one-year anniversary of this state-of-the-art medical helipad, St. Joseph’s Health is sharing details from what they have seen and what’s next for this air medical transportation.

Care Flight received over 70 medical transports within its first year, said Yuri Pashchuk, Director of Medical, Surgical, Critical Care and Progressive Care Unit Services at St. Joseph’s Health.

Pashchuk remembers one patient well. The heart-attack survivor was airlifted to St. Joseph’s Health Hospital, received an immediate cardiac procedure and was discharged home within two days. Quick treatment was the reason that that patient fully recovered in such a short time.

“If the patient had a longer transportation time, more damage would have been done. That would have led to a longer stay at the hospital, as well as decreased potential for a full recovery and an increased chance of the incident happening again in the future,” said Pashchuk. “The benefit of our helipad – and the increased access to medical care – could mean more scenarios with faster recovery and early discharge as a result of earlier medical intervention.”

Pashchuk has over 17 years of experience in intensive and emergency care, and as a flight nurse for air medical transport. Prior to St. Joseph’s, Pashchuk was a flight nurse specializing in critical care for Mercy Flight Central.  

St. Joseph’s Health President and CEO Leslie Paul Luke commented on how the helipad helps save lives by shortening the wait time for cardiac and stroke patients: 

“St. Joseph’s helipad allows patients from surrounding counties who are facing life-threatening cardiac and stroke emergencies to be treated by our expert team much faster than if they were transported by ambulance,” said Luke. “The longer a cardiac patient has to wait for care, the more heart muscle they lose. And every minute a stroke is left untreated, millions of brain cells die. Reducing transit time not only provides patients the world-class care they need as early as possible, but also exponentially boost their chances of favorable outcomes.”

According to the National Stroke Association, winter is the popular season for heart attacks and strokes. Pashchuk notes that he saw more cases of heart attacks and strokes after the first heavy snowfall of the season when people overexert themselves while shoveling. 

The helipad’s traffic in the past year was mostly from St. Joseph’s Health’s partner hospitals in Watertown and Lewis County. Care Flight also brought patients to St. Joseph’s Health Hospital from Mohawk Valley and the Finger Lakes region.

Pashchuk expects traffic to the helipad to continue to grow as more medical organizations and emergency responders become aware of this service. St Joseph’s Health aims to continue to provide the highest level of emergency care to patients across Central and Northern New York. 


About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Healthis a regional non-profit health care system based in Syracuse, NY. St. Joseph’s has been an innovative leader in health care since our founding in 1869 as the first hospital open to the public in the city of Syracuse. Offering primary, specialty and home care, a Magnet-recognized hospital, and collaboration with community partners, St. Joseph's Health advances the well-being of the communities we serve through an expanding range of services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. St. Joseph’s is ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, a designated Stroke Center and a U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital.” St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated withFranciscan Companies andSt. Joseph’s Physicians, and is a member ofTrinity Health. St. Joseph’s Health is celebrating our 150th Anniversary throughout 2019. For more information on our founding Sisters of St. Francis including Saint Marianne Cope, our legacy and our innovations,

Post Date

Oct 9th 2019