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Vietnam’s first rooftop helipad for emergency medical services put into operation

Vietnam’s first rooftop helipad for emergency medical services put into operation

Saturday, December 19, 2020, 17:10 GMT+7
Vietnam’s first rooftop helipad for emergency medical services put into operation
A helicopter designated for emergency medical services hovers above the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

The first landing pad for helicopter-based emergency medical services (HEMS) in Vietnam has been put into official operation more than one year after its trial.

The HEMS site, authorized by the Ministry of National Defense, is situated atop of the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Before its inauguration on Saturday morning, flight and quality tests, including the first trial flight that successfully took place on November 8, 2019, showed that the site is qualified for operation, according to the Military Hospital 175’s director Nguyen Hong Son.

The facility will mainly serve flights transporting injured soldiers and locals from Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands off south-central Khanh Hoa Province, with an ultimate goal of becoming a multipurpose HEMS center for road, waterway, and air routes to ensure quality medical service for officials and people in Ho Chi Minh City, neighboring provinces and in the southern region.

A helicopter designated for emergency medical services hovers above the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
A helicopter designated for emergency medical services flies above the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Previously, emergency medical services helicopters had to land at Tan Son Nhat International Airport with patients being transferred to hospitals on ambulances, according to Major General Son.

However, as ambulances often faced traffic congestion, doctors sometimes missed the optimal timing for treatments.

A helicopter designated for emergency medical services hovers above the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
A helicopter designated for emergency medical services flies above the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

“In the past, the transfer of patients from the island to the mainland took about three hours and 30 minutes on average, but now the transportation time could be reduced by up to 20-30 minutes,” Major General Son said.

“This is our dream. This air route is all for patients and the people,” the hospital director added.

Son said that in the coming time, the hospital will soon formulate a flight mechanism and methods to ensure national security while conducting HEMS flights.

A helicopter designated for emergency medical services lands atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
A helicopter designated for emergency medical services lands atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

“This modern means of transport, in addition to other types of emergency medical services, brings about many hopes. It is the dream of several generations of doctors in Vietnam,” said Tang Chi Thuong, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health.

Thuong added that the opening of the landing pad is the first of its kind in Vietnam and an exemplary model for other hospitals in the city to develop similar facilities, aiming at improving the efficiency of emergency medical services.

Medical workers transfer a patient from a helicopter that landed atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City during a hypothetical practice, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Medical workers transfer a patient from a helicopter that landed atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City during a hypothetical practice, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Following Saturday morning’s inauguration, the HEMS base at the Military Hospital 175 also successfully received two flights carrying two hypothetical patient cases.

According to Military Hospital 175, about seven to ten patients are carried by air every year.

Medical workers transfer a patient from a helicopter that landed atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City during a hypothetical practice, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Medical workers transfer a patient from a helicopter that landed atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City during a hypothetical practice, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Medical workers rush a patient to emergency room after receiving him from a helicopter that landed atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City during a hypothetical practice, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Medical workers rush a patient to emergency room after receiving him from a helicopter that landed atop the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City during a hypothetical practice, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Pilot Pham Ngoc Hoai flies a helicopter above the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Pilot Pham Ngoc Hoai flies a helicopter above the Orthopedic Building at the Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City, December 19, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

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