We are called when time and specialized services or resources are crucial to the patient’s outcome or survival.

Each aircraft is staffed with a pilot and two highly trained critical care providers. Coordinated by our communications center, we respond to the scene and work with the local emergency services personnel to stabilize the patient for air transport to Duke University Hospital.

The intense level of care patients receive, from the time we pick them up to the time they arrive at Duke University Hospital, can make a significant difference in their survival and recovery.

In the event distance prohibits transport by helicopter or ground, Duke Life Flight provides transport by fixed wing aircraft in coordination with MedCenter Air in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Helicopter transports are a critical part of our program:

  • Helicopter transports account for nearly 20% of Duke Life Flight overall volume.
  • We fly over 800 critical care transport cases a year including:
    • Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
    • Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump
    • Nitric Oxide Ventilation
    • Transport Isolette