Cuts in Air Ambulance Service Raise Concerns

From Times Wire Reports

As the flu season approaches, the medical staff at UC Davis Medical Center says reducing the Life Flight air ambulance program will have a significant impact on the care of seriously ill children and infants.

UC Davis officials, who reduced the program by half in April, say the cut will not affect the public, but will save the hospital $2 million a year.

They said the helicopter that was eliminated wasn't being used, and the funds can be put to better use.

Pediatric and neonatal patients were more than 50% of Life Flight's transports in 2002.

Advocates for critically ill children worry that they will either have to wait or be airlifted by a less-experienced transport team.

One Life Flight helicopter and 13 nurses were cut. One remaining helicopter still flies out of Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville.

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