Novant Health on Tuesday announced it now has a helicopter for transporting patients in critical condition to hospitals in Charlotte and the metro area.
Headquartered in Winston-Salem, Novant said the helicopter will be based at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury but serve a 150-mile radius. Novant said a specially trained team, including a flight-registered nurse and a certified-flight paramedic, will be on board to care for patients during transports.
“In a critical situation, especially with trauma, heart attacks or strokes, minutes matter,” Dr. Tom Zweng, chief medical officer for Novant, said in a statement. He estimated the helicopter will possibly save more than 300 lives each year.
Novant also said the helicopter, which has a cruising speed of 158 miles per hour, is expected to benefit rural communities, increasing care to such areas.
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The move means Novant joins competitor Carolinas HealthCare System in having aircraft for transporting patients. Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare says it has a fleet of planes and helicopters.
In addition to the helicopter, Novant said it already has a fleet of 13 ambulances.