The Helipad Will NOT Benefit SF Residents
According to the SFGH Medical Helipad Initial Study (p. 8), the
700 patients per year using a helipad on the roof of SFGH
would fall into three categories:
- 400 “interfacility transfer patients”
who have been stabilized at lower level trauma
centers in counties all across Northern California,
who currently transfer to other Level I Trauma
Centers located in Palo Alto, Sacramento, or San
Jose. These are patients who can pay the
$15,000 to $20,000 cost of helicopter transport.
SFGH wants a helipad to attract these insured
- 240 tertiary referral patients from surrounding Northern California county hospitals who are
need specialty services. These patients are
currently flown to SFO and then take ground
ambulance to the City's specialty hospitals, i.e., the Burn Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, Davies Medical Center
for limb reattachment.
- 53 trauma scene patients picked up at the
scene of an emergency incident, but NOT WITHIN SAN
FRANCISCO. These are car accidents in northern San
Mateo county (currently flown to Stanford Medical
center) and recreational injuries from southern Marin, such as motorcyclists, hikers and surfers, (currently flown to John Muir Hospital in Hayward).
For approximately half of these patients, SFGH
would actually be farther by air than the currently
helipad-equipped hospitals and SFGH is always
San Francisco residents will be transported to the
SFGH helipad if they happen to be injured while
visiting other counties. Yet San Francisco
will bear the COST and DANGER of the helipad.
Furthermore, an influx of Trauma patients from other counties
will increase SFGH overcrowding, forcing even
greater local ambulance diversions than the current 20%
SFGH Ambulance Diversions.