We all hope that we never experience a trauma or medical emergency that requires treatment. No one ever thinks they will be force to deal with a severe or critical medical condition that requires extensive medical treatment and care. Although we never want to be in such a circumstance, it is important to be informed about such issues. When patients require medical attention during transport, the typical method of travel involves an ambulance, but in specific cases, standard medical transportation is not enough. An air ambulance may be just what the doctor ordered.
What medical conditions and critical situations call for the use of an air ambulance? Each case is different based on the specific medical needs of the patient. There is no exact rule of thumb, but some basic guidelines do exist to determine which patients require the use of an air ambulance.
If the patient's doctor feels that the patient should not travel by air with conventional airlines due to their specific medical needs, the doctor will order travel by an air ambulance. Numerous companies and organizations exist to safely transport patients in this way. Each company has their own specific requirements for staff on board the flight. Special medical circumstances may call for specific medical teams to fly aboard the air ambulance with the patient.
Here are some examples of medical conditions that may indicate a need to travel by air ambulance:
- Patients suffering from respiratory conditions that require ventilators
- trauma patients
- patients with neurological conditions that require intra cranial monitoring
- IABP patients that require balloon pumps
- patients with multiple IV drips
- transplant patients
- obstetric patients requiring intensive care
- NICU patients
The patients that require continuous medical monitoring and the use of specialized medical equipment are excellent candidates for travel by air ambulance. There is no plausible way for a patient with severe medical conditions to travel by conventional methods while achieving comfort and appropriate medical care.
When time is of the essence, standard flights would not be speedy enough to safely transport a patient to their destination. Also, it is impossible to spontaneously board a conventional flight with an entire medical staff and equipment. For this reason, doctors and patients choose to travel by air ambulance.
Air ambulance services are most commonly thought of as the helicopters that fly accident victims from the scene of a car crash to the nearest hospital that is capable of providing proper treatment for the severe injuries sustained in the crash. On the contrary, air ambulance services include so much more than just this sector of service.
An air ambulance may be a chopper, but it also can include planes such as turboprops and jets.
The type of aircraft used should be determined by the patients needs, as well as, by the distance traveled. For example, a patient should typically be transported by a jet when they require air ambulance transportation for distances greater than 500 miles. This is due to the time traveled, necessary stops to refuel small planes, the patient's comfort and stress level.
Traveling by air ambulance may not be an experience that you want to add to your to-do list, but it may be medically necessary in the future. Patients who require constant medical attention, the use of specific medical equipment, or have numerous IV drips may require the use of such services. Should the doctor feel that this specialized service is beneficial, you will be glad that the air ambulance services are available.