NZ's busiest trauma centre Christchurch Hospital needs help to create a helipad

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Christchurch Hospital, the only major hospital in New Zealand without a helipad, is due to have one completed early next year but is short of funding.

They have about 700 rescue helicopter missions a year, but they're the only major hospital without a helipad
Source: Seven Sharp

It's the busiest trauma centre in the country and the local rescue helicopter carries out about 700 missions a year, Seven Sharp reported.

Paramedics and trauma doctors are frustrated by the helicopter being unable to deliver patients directly to hospital, instead landing at the adjacent Hagley Park.

Transferring patients from there to Christchurch Hospital by ambulance can add another 13 minutes.

"They're critical patients that we deal with quite often and that 13 minutes means a great deal to their outcomes," said Mike McLintock, a helicopter paramedic.

Dr Dave Bowie sees first hand the effect of those lost minutes at the hospital.

"I try not to think about it, because I couldn't fix it at the time," he said.

"Time is muscle for the heart. Time is brain for a stroke and time is spinal cord for a spinal cord injury."

Following several plans for helipads in the past that have not eventuated, the only sticking point this time is funding. The pad planned for the hospital rooftop still requires donations from the public.

Dr Bowie said the government has paid for a large part of this project and a late change to the design meant finding more funding.

"We saw from experiences from other centres that having the ability to not simultaneously land two helicopters, but at least have availability park one and land another was useful."

Click here if you'd like to make a donation to the helipad campaign.


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