Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

One person injured at Westar plant

Helicopter ambulance takes victim from the scene

April 12, 2007


One person has been flown by helicopter ambulance from Westar Energy's Lawrence Energy Center this morning after a report that a worker there fell from two stories.

Medical supervisors on the scene have reported to Douglas County emergency dispatchers that the injured person's injuries were believed to not be life threatening.

Around 9:30 a.m. crews with the Wakarusa Township Fire Department and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical made their way to the energy center at 1250 N. 1800 Road. It is home to a coal-fired plant on the northwest outskirts of the city.

Douglas County Sheriff's officers were also making their way there to investigate the 20-foot fall, said sheriff spokeswoman Lt. Kari Wempe.

After 10 a.m. a LifeStar helicopter ambulance left the scene with the patient. Generally area patients transported by helicopter ambulance are flown to the Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., but dispatchers and emergency personnel did not immediately disclose the hospital destination this morning.


redfred 11 years, 2 months ago

Non life threatening is good. Just hope his insurance covers the $5,000 helicopter ride. That's at least the 5th non threatening helicopter ride that DGFM has called for lately, is there a reason for this increase?

Prydain 11 years, 2 months ago

This happened on the job, the person shouldn't have any out of pocket expenses.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 2 months ago

Injuries are never good; non-life threatening is only better than life-threatening.

KsGirl 11 years, 2 months ago

LMH does not accept trauma patients. A 20 foot fall would be concidered a trauma.

terrapin2 11 years, 2 months ago

I mean no offense to the fine folks who work in the ER at LMH, but have you ever seen the ER? I've been in there several times and it certainly appears as though they simply don't have the proper facility to deal with trauma cases. To be fair, the ER is scheduled to be completely remodeled as a part of the on-going improvements and construction at the hospital, but in its current form I don't believe it is adequate to deal with any serious injuries. Nor is it equipped to deal with mental cases as has been hi-lighted here in the LJ-W in the past. I'm sure there are statistics that are used to determine the need for a trauma center based on population and demand. Fortunately we don't have drive-by shootings every night like bigger cities deal with so a trauma center would probably only see occasional use from car wrecks and these sorts of odd injury accidents. As the population of Lawrence continues to swell, and merges with T-town and KC, this may be an issue this community should reconsider.

terrapin2 11 years, 2 months ago

This would explain it in more technical terms. The cost of the facility alone makes it difficult to afford, but when you add the cost of paying all of those specialists, and the malpractice insurance, etc. it's nearly impossible for many communities. In fact we are lucky to have a trauma center so close by in KC. Having read this I take back what I said about Lawrence considering this in the future. As copied from Wikipedia: Consider this: "...(for example, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle serves the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska)."

Here's more of the Wikipedia entry for trauma center: A trauma center is a hospital equipped to perform as a casualty receiving station for the emergency medical services by providing the best possible medical care for traumatic injuries 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Trauma centers were established as the medical establishment realized that such injuries often require immediate and complex surgery to save the patient.

In order to qualify as a trauma center, a hospital must have a number of complex capabilities including a well-stocked emergency department, a high-quality intensive care ward, and an operating room staffed around the clock. A trauma service is led by a team of trauma surgeons, including specialists such as neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. Emergency medicine physicians are an optional helper group. The team has immediate access to advanced diagnostic equipment such as a computed tomography (CT) scanner. Most importantly are the surgical specialists who can stop bleeding and stem infection. Surgeons are the main component in trauma centers that save lives through surgery and inpatient critical care. A trauma center may have a helipad for receiving patients by MEDEVAC and usually has well-developed contingency plans for disasters.

The operation of a trauma center is extremely expensive. Some areas are under-served by trauma centers because of this expense (for example, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle serves the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska). In Florida, Orlando Regional Medical Center, built to serve five counties, serves more than twenty. Still, in many cases, persons injured in remote areas and brought to a trauma center by helicopter can receive faster and better care than a person injured in a city and taken to a normal hospital by ground ambulance.

In the United States, trauma centers are ranked, from a limited care facilities up to comprehensive service in Level I centers. Some centers specialize in adult or pediatric care. St Lukes is Level 1, Children's Mercy is the region's only Level 1 neo-natal ECMO trauma center

terrapin2 11 years, 2 months ago

Sorry these were cut off from my last post.

KU Med Center is level 1, and Overland Park Med Center is level 2 In light of the scarcity of such a facility in the Nortwest we are very fortunate to have several trauma centers so close by.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 2 months ago

Very well put explanation on trauma centers.

Stormont-Vail Regional Health Care in Topeka is now designated as a Level 3 trauma center. Two years ago a trauma program was established and they received their designation last year. An entire new Emergency Department will be built in the near future.

Having trauma surgeons and phsyicians who can dedicate to a trauma patient is of utmost importance. It can be the difference between life and death.

Emergency rooms generally can not devote the resources to a trauma type case. So many people are needed at that time it can deplete the ER staff.

Wichita has two trauma centers and KU has one. That is three for the state of Kansas with SVRHC slated as the fourth.

dthroat 11 years, 2 months ago

While the above is very good and acurate descriptions for trauam centers, etc., it is still policy for LDCFM to call for a helicopter on anything if they can. Don't know for certain why, but seems unnecessary in a lot of cases.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 2 months ago

There is no such policy of which I am aware, dthroat.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.