The Woman's Hospital of Texas, an HCA Houston Healthcare hospital, has upgraded its air ambulance service with a new helicopter known as HCA Houston Healthcare AirLife. The new helicopter is capable of flying farther without refueling, thereby improving response times and patient outcomes for high-risk mothers, newborns and pediatric patients in need of a higher level of care.

Its larger cabin can also carry more passengers and provides more working space for the air ambulance medical team.

"When it comes to providing life-saving care, every minute counts," said Elizabeth Ortega, chief executive officer of The Woman's Hospital of Texas.

HCA Houston Healthcare AirLife is for the exclusive use of The Woman's Hospital of Texas. The new aircraft will operate 24/7, staffed with a highly trained flight nurse, paramedic and skilled pilot.

The Woman's Hospital of Texas launched its air ambulance service in 2011. The service was expanded in 2014 to include the care and transport of critically ill pediatric patients.

Located at 7600 Fannin, one mile south of the Texas Medical Center, The Woman's Hospital of Texas delivers more than 10,000 babies, including more than 2,500 premature births, every year.

The first Texas hospital dedicated to the health of women and newborns, it also is one of the few in the state to earn Level IV Advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) designation, providing the highest level of care for the roughly two percent of premature and critically ill infants born earlier than 32 weeks gestation and weighing less than 1,500 grams.