Stanford Life Flight was started in May 1984 as the critical care air medical transport service of Stanford University Hospital. Currently Stanford Life Flight is the only academic hospital-based flight program in California and is also the oldest in the state.
Our service area extends from the Oregon/California border in the North, to Reno, NV in the East, and as far south as Santa Barbara. We also serve the central valley and central coast regions of California.
Life Flight is considered a community resource and as such, is available to transport patients from any hospital that requests our service to any appropriate receiving hospital. We are also available to any county emergency medical system to provide advanced aero medical evacuation from 911 requests.
Our aircraft (the EC 145) can accommodate up to two patients from scene call flights originating from the 911 system. These calls can include motor vehicle crashes, bicycle accidents, falls, assaults, near-drownings and other medical emergencies. Approximately forty percent of our flights are activated by a 911 call from the nine counties that make up the greater Bay Area.
On interfacility transfers, between hospitals, the interior configuration of the helicopter will allow additional medical personnel and specialized equipment should the need arise. Care is provided by our specialist Life Flight RN’s on all interfacility transfer flights.
Life Flight also provides aeromedical support to our partners at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, transporting specialized teams from the Pediatric , Neonatal ICU's and Obstetric Department to outlying hospitals in order to bring these patients back to the comprehensive services offers at this academic hospital.
Life Flight may on occasion use the Life Flight ambulance if the weather does not permit flying or the patient is closer to the main Stanford Hospital campus. Care is still provided by the Life Flight RN's.
Our flight crews meet rigorous standards. Flight nurses have extensive training and experience in caring for critically ill or injured patients in the airborne environment. Using an evidence-based set of hospital-developed protocols, they provide care consistent with that of Stanford Health Care, thereby becoming an extension of the Stanford hospital. There are a number of procedures performed by our flight nurses that are beyond the regular scope of practice for registered nurses. Recurrent training and constant clinical review, maintain the nurses competency in these skills. The pilots come to the program with several thousand hours of turbine helicopter experience and then have further training and annual recurrency check rides to maintain their IFR pilot ratings.