UPMC Presbyterian’s New Helipad Opens Today

By: Martin Kinnunen

A new helipad that reduces the time needed to take patients with serious injuries and illnesses from the rooftop landing site to the Emergency Department opened today at UPMC Presbyterian.
“Patients will benefit from the opening of the new helipad because it provides more efficient access to our experts and medical teams,” said David Bertoty, clinical director, Emergency and Trauma Services.
Located above the B wing, the new helipad was built on 12 columns, which positions it 25 feet atop the hospital roof, to ensure safe helicopter approaches and departures. The new helipad is serviced by existing elevators, which were extended in height so they are level with the helipad. A short walkway connects the helipad and elevators.
UPMC Presbyterian is a Level I Regional Resource Trauma Center. In 2012, UPMC Presbyterian Trauma Services handled more than 5,400 cases, making it the busiest adult trauma center in Pennsylvania. In complex trauma cases, getting those patients from the helipad to the Emergency Department (ED) as quickly as possible is critical. 
“The elevators that service the new helipad go directly to the ED, which will improve efficiency and help us meet the needs of these patients,” Bertoty said.
With the opening of the new helipad, work will begin to decommission the existing helipad on the South Tower. UPMC Presbyterian and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC shared the use of the South Tower helipad before Children’s Hospital relocated to its new campus in Lawrenceville.
On Monday, local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel had the opportunity to tour the new heilpad and enjoy a picnic on the South Tower lawn. The events were organized by UPMC Prehospital Care Services as part of National EMS Week.