Aim Since 2014, HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical System) has been an integrated part of the emergency medical system, providing fast and high-competence helicopter transport of patients to highly specialised care. Different heliport solutions at the receiving hospitals may have an impact on the time delay from landing to treatment (LTT). In this study, we compared the time delay from landing to arrival at the catheterization laboratory in patients with ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) accepted for primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (pPCI) at one of the four centres in Denmark. We hypothesised that heliport proximity strongly influence the LTT.
Methods We prospectively recorded the time from the landing at the heliport to arrival at the catheterization laboratory from October 1st 2014 to December 31st 2016 in all STEMI patients transported by HEMS Denmark. LTT was compared between two centres with heliports at the hospital, and two centres with heliport located outside the hospital, necessitating ground transportation in ambulance.
Results 1163 patients were included in the study. 310 were excluded due to missing data. The two hospitals with hospital based heliports showed shorter LTT compared to the two hospitals with heliport outside the hospital (5±2.18 and 6±2.94 vs. 9±3.94 and 12±3.49, p<0.001).
Conclusion Hospital based heliports ensure shorter time delay from landing to pPCI in patients with STEMI. We strongly recommend that heliports are located close to the treating facility. Transfer from landing site to hospital by ground ambulance seems unfeasible in time critical patients.
Conflict of interest None declared.
Funding None declared.