Vanderbilt LifeFlight expands critical care amid rural hospital closures

Posted at 5:38 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-11 15:39:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the first time in its 35-year history, Vanderbilt LifeFlight will be able transport critical patients on the ground from all parts of Tennessee thanks to two new specialized ambulances.

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a 24-hour team that includes an emergency medical technician, a critical care paramedic and a critical care nurse, the service will expand from Nashville to rural communities.

The new ambulances can perform the same duties as their helicopter counterpart, especially during bad weather and if the patient's condition doesn't require immediate transport by air. Critical heart and lung patients can benefit from the new fleet the most.

"We will be able to go out into the communities as well as be able to transport critical patients in and around a 150 mile radius," Jeanne Yeatman of Vanderbilt LifeFlight told NewsChannel 5.

It can help areas of the state where resources may be lacking. That's the case more so than ever now that 12 hospitals in the state have closed in the last six years.

America's rural hospitals are in crisis and it's devastating Middle Tennessee

In total, Vanderbilt LifeFlight has 13 ground ambulances, eight helicopters and one airplane.

Critical Care Ground Transport can be arranged by any transferring facility calling 1-866-803-4307.