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Record Year for Florida’s Medical Flight Program


2016 was a record year for the Trauma Star medical flight program, ending with the transportation of four critically-injured patients over the holiday weekend. The patients were transported from the accident site in the Lower Keys to a trauma center in Miami. They had been in a fatal, head-on collision and required emergency medical attention.

Trauma Star Breaks Previous Record

Including the accident, which happened on December 30, Trauma Star ended up transporting 528 patients during 2016 alone. This means an excess of 131 patients compared to 2015, when they had set a record of 397.

Out of the 528 patients transported by the medical flight program, 114 of them were trauma patients, 18 were heart attack patients, and 17 were stroke patients. And 378 patients were flown for inter-facility transportation for life-saving treatment. Additionally, Life Flight also flew one patient as first response, taking them to Dry Tortugas.

Medical flight Proves to be Vital for the Keys

Jim Callahan, Monroe County Fire Chief stated that Trauma Star provides vital medical service for the Keys, having saved the lives of many residents and visitors. And the December 30 incident further proved the necessity of their service. The Fire Rescue units reached the scene of the accident and extricated some victims from the vehicles.

Trauma Star then transported two of the patients to a hospital in Miami. Afterwards, it returned to the Lower Keys Medical Center, where the other two victims had been taken. These two victims were then transported by the service to a Miami hospital.

The joint program was started by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Monroe County Fire Rescue. It provides emergency flight services to those in need in the region and comprises of a staff of highly-skilled paramedics, pilots, and critical care nurses. Since it started its operations, the program has transported 2,745 people for emergency medical care.

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