Medical emergency closes north Raleigh intersection

Posted May 5, 2015
Updated May 6, 2015

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— Officials at WakeMed in north Raleigh asked police to close the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Durant roads for about 30 minutes Tuesday afternoon to allow a hospital helicopter to land.

A hospital spokeswoman said that a patient had come to the Emergency Room at WakeMed North and needed to be transported to WakeMed Raleigh. Doctors decided that a helicopter was the best way to handle it, so they asked police to allow the helicopter to land on the road.

WakeMed North doesn't have a helipad.

On approach, the pilot warned WakeMed that there were too many power lines to allow a safe landing in the intersection, so after about 40 minutes, the road was re-opened to traffic.

The patient was then taken by ambulance to a nearby athletic field where the helicopter was able to land.


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  • Don Richards May 5, 2015
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    It's incredible that Wake Med North hospital does not have a clear and well thought out plan to deal with a situation requiring an emergency transport. A patient was put at risk and a major road in north Raleigh was shut down at rush hour because the hospital was unprepared. This should not be a spur of the moment decision by a doctor who clearly had no understanding of what he was recommending. The emergency plans should be in place and not made up off the cuff - this isn't difficult, it just takes competent and comprehensive planning.

  • Bradley Green May 5, 2015
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    Yup, pretty obvious lapse here. They should have a designated landing area for all area hospitals, even if not a dedicated helipad. The only reason that they do not is because between most hospitals in the county it is just as fast to use a ground ambulance, and just as safe.

    Google shows this as a 20 minute trip on the ground, and it obviously took longer than this to try and use the helicopter. Obviously, there could be extenuating circumstances, but I would like to hear their reasoning for using the helicopter.

  • Chris Vet May 5, 2015
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    could landed in the hospital parking lot?

  • Ben Sanders May 5, 2015
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    So there's a medical emergency so important that they're willing to shut down a pretty major road, but nobody looked to see that there were power lines in the way? In this day and age where anyone can see this information on their phone?

  • Barbara Sossomon May 5, 2015
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    It appears that they need to have a better procedure in place. This could have cost that patient their life, or the entire crew their lives.