Life Flight Network (LFN), the nation’s largest not-for-profit air medical transport service, announced today it will expand its ground critical care transport program to include the Portland metro area.
LFN is typically known for flying patients from the scene of accidents or medical emergencies, but many critically ill or injured people are transferred between Portland metro hospitals each day. In metropolitan areas across the country, critical care teams consisting of an experienced critical care registered nurse trained in transport medicine, and a critical care paramedic, provide care for patients while transferring from one facility to another. The close geographic proximity of two urban hospitals makes ground transport more desirable than helicopter transport.
“Oftentimes, multiple complex medications are being administered simultaneously to keep a patient alive. These situations require the knowledge and experience of a transport nurse who has many years of ICU or ED experience.” says Lindsay Steele, RN and Regional Director of Life Flight Network. LFN care providers are trained to continue the high quality care patients receive in Intensive Care Units or Emergency Departments. LFN transport nurses are required to have at least 5-years of ICU or ED experience; all are trained to the same high standards as LFN flight crew.
“Hospitals in the Portland area have been asking for this increased level of service. LFN provides this service in other areas and it makes sense for us to expand our existing ground transport program to include critical care transport in the Portland area.” says Michael Griffiths, RN and Chief Executive Officer of Life Flight Network. He adds, “We are excited to bring this level of service to all hospitals in the Portland area.”
LFN ambulances function like a mobile ICU or ED. Medications, advanced procedures, and medical devices carried on LFN ambulances go beyond what a 9-1-1 ambulance carries. In addition to intravenous medication pumps, an ICU grade ventilator, and special cardiac and invasive line monitoring equipment, LFN crews are trained to administer blood and blood products. The LFN staff is also trained to transport highly specialized medical equipment, such as intra-aortic balloon pumps, ventricular assist devices, and Impella cardiac pumps.
As an added benefit to the 130,000 individuals enrolled in LFN’s membership program, there is no out of pocket expense for ground transport if transported by a LFN ambulance (and the existing terms are satisfied).