After several months of construction work, Cooper University Health Care unveiled its newly upgraded rooftop helipad and reopened for patient traffic on Friday, December 14, 2018. The helipad is one of the most heavily used in the region, as Cooper is a leading academic health center and serves as South Jersey’s only Level 1 Trauma Center. In addition to trauma patients, critically ill patients are also airlifted from other hospitals for a higher-level specialty care provided by Cooper’s physicians.
“Cooper’s helipad is vital component of our comprehensive trauma, critical care, and emergency medical services system focused on transporting patients to the most advanced tertiary and trauma care available as quickly as possible,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-president of Cooper University Health Care. “The upgraded features of the helipad will allow us to safely and effectively serve more trauma patients for many years to come.”
The helipad features several new structural and safety features including a new heated deck surface which will prevent snow and ice buildup and be easier to maintain during winter month, thereby reducing potential weather-related downtime. Other new features include upgraded lighting, an additional emergency exit stairway, a new fire alarm system, and new safety netting. The adjacent trauma bay also received upgrades.
“In trauma care, every moment counts. By prioritizing upgrades that can make our air transports faster and safer upon landing, our patients continue to have access to our medical teams without delay, every time,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-president of Cooper.
During the two months of renovations, air medical transport helicopters used a helipad at the nearby Campbell Soup Company, and patients were brought to Cooper by ambulance.
Cooper has been providing life-saving air medical transport service to the residents of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties since 2010. In August 2018, Cooper added a second helicopter due better serve this large geographical region.
The new helicopter, Cooper 2, is based out of the Flying W Airport in Medford, Burlington County, and provides coverage for the northern region of the service area. Cooper 1, based at the Millville Municipal Airport in Millville, Cumberland County, covers the southern regions of the state. Both helicopters offer critically injured patients rapid transport from emergency scenes to the closest appropriate hospital or trauma center. The service also provides rapid hospital-to-hospital transfer for critically ill patients in the region who need more advanced medical and/or surgical care.
In 2017, Cooper treated nearly 79,000 patients through its emergency department and nearly 4,000 patients through the trauma center. In addition, more than 7,000 critically ill patients were transferred to Cooper in 2017, many of them airlifted. Cooper’s air medical transport service alone logged more than 300 patient transports in 2017, and is on track for more than 450 in 2018.
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