Since the Vatican heliport was made available to it by the Holy See five years ago, the Bambino Gesu pediatric services have carried out 500 helicopter rescue operations, saving many lives. Suicide attempts constitute a large part of these interventions aimed at young people.
In July 2015, Pope Francis authorized the pediatric emergency services of Bambino Gesu, to use the Vatican heliport, day and night, in order to speed up the passage and transport of children and young people found in conditions where urgent treatment is vital.
Located on the Janiculum, Bambino Gesu is the largest pediatric care facility in Europe. Founded in 1869 thanks to the generosity of the Salviati family, bequeathed to the Holy See in 1924, the hospital has taken on an international dimension over the years.
In 2019, it brought together some 3,300 health professionals and had 1.9 million procedures to its credit in 2018 alone.
Even setting aside the practice of heart transplants in this establishment, whose ethical character is unfounded - Pope John Paul II had doubts about this subject, and Cardinal Ratzinger, future Pope Benedict XVI was even more reserved - the fact remains that this hospital is doing a remarkable job in more ways than one.
With the provision of the pontifical heliport, the helicopter rescue technique has been refined: in 2021, it only takes six to seven minutes to effectively take charge of a young patient.
Since the first intervention - carried out on December 29, 2015 - to June 30, 2021, 491 rescue operations have been carried out by helicopter. An activity that focuses mainly on the summer months, and which in 2021 continues to grow: in fact, 65 helicopter rescues have already been recorded since January.
More worryingly, the most common injuries are severe head trauma, followed by bruising and damage to internal organs, spine and pelvis after hasty suicide attempts that are multiplying. These are signs of helpless and confused youth, which, while they need Bambino Gesu to repair their bodies, asks the Church to help heal their souls.