Minutes count during cardiac and other emergencies, making transit times critical. Because of this, Kona Community Hospital has contracted with Hawaii Life Flight to operate a medically equipped, over-water rotor copter for emergent patient transfers.
Kona Community Hospital’s rotor program officially became operational on February 15, 2013. The American Eurocopter AS350 Be was configured for medical emergency transport prior to arrival on the Big Island, and will be specifically used for facility to facility patient transfers. Kona Community Hospital’s Level III trauma team will coordinate patient transfers with the Hawaii Life Flight critical care communications center.
This dedicated helicopter will give critical patients 24/7 access to emergency transfer from KCH. Flight time to Maui will be 35 minutes. Additionally, it will cut transit time down from 4 hours it currently takes to transport a patient to Oahu, to about one hour depending on weather conditions.