As of July 16, a VitaLink Critical Care ambulance and crew will be stationed full-time at Pender Memorial Hospital to provide immediate transfers of area patients in critical condition to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the area’s tertiary care hospital.
“Having on-the-spot access to Critical Care Ground Transportation means so much for those patients who need a more advanced level of care as quickly as possible. It automatically cuts the response time in half because the crew doesn’t have to drive from a station in Wilmington. They are right here,” said David Long, administrator at PMH. “It means we are able to transition patients with little to no wait time from our outstanding emergency department staff to the highly trained VitaLink crew that is used to caring for critical patients.”
The VitaLink vehicle on-site at PMH is equipped beyond a traditional ambulance so that the crew on board can handle a broader spectrum of critical care patients ranging from cardiac, trauma, high-risk obstetrics, burns and pediatrics. A paramedic, a registered nurse, and an emergency medical technician staff every patient transport.
VitaLink is the ground component of New Hanover Health Network's critical care transport division. VitaLink and AirLink, the air ambulance that also serves Pender Memorial Hospital, are the first and only critical care services in the region. In 2004, the Association of Air Medical Services, the leading professional and accrediting organization for air and ground critical care transport, awarded VitaLink a national Critical Care Ground Award of Excellence.
“We are thrilled to have this resource available for the people of Pender County and the surrounding areas. With the population boom in the area and the greatly increased utilization of our emergency department, it is certainly a necessary service for those in critical condition,” said Long. “This is a wonderful demonstration of how well the partnership is working between Pender Memorial and New Hanover Regional.”
Pender Memorial Hospital has been serving all of Pender County and the surrounding area since 1951. PMH is an 86-bed, not-for-profit, community hospital that is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). In 1999, Pender Memorial Hospital entered into an affiliation with New Hanover Regional Medical Center in order to better provide a full range of services to the community.