Rapid Response Helicopter

Helicopter Emergency Rapid Response Trauma Service

CareFlight operates the emergency rapid response trauma service from our Westmead base in Sydney. The helicopter is on its way to a major trauma incident within three minutes of tasking.

One of the fastest services of its kind in the world, the helicopter delivers a specialist doctor, highly skilled intensive care paramedic and hospital-level equipment as close as possible to a patient anywhere in the greater Sydney area within 15-20 minutes of a 000 call.

The CareFlight helicopter lands almost anywhere that is suitable, including roads, parks, sports ground, median strips, schools, vacant blocks, back yards and even tennis courts. If there is no safe landing at the scene, local police meet the helicopter at the closest landing site nearby and drive the trauma team to the patient.

The equipment, drugs and blood products carried on board the helicopter mean the specialist doctor and paramedic can begin definitive treatment at the scene. Often the doctor will place the patient into an induced coma to control their breathing. In the case of head injured patients, this helps prevent secondary brain injury.

Once the trauma team have stabilised the patient, they transport them to hospital by helicopter or road ambulance. Children and babies are flown directly to a children’s hospital.

CareFlight’s rapid response service evolved from a clinical trial which sought to determine whether on-scene physician intervention results in better long-term outcomes for head-injured patients. Read more about CareFlight’s Head Injury Research.

CareFlight relies on the generosity of the community and sponsors to continue to provide this service. Please help keep our doctors flying. 

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