Air Ambulance Services – Types And Uses

Depending on patient needs, there are actually three different types of air ambulance services commonly offered. These are: Air Ambulance Services, Dedicated Air Ambulance Services, and Medical Air Escort Services. This article explains the difference between these services.

Before getting into that, however, understand one key difference. Helicopters are rarely used for emergency air transport outside of emergency airlift straight to the hospital. They’re loud, generally shorter range, and considered to be somewhat unreliable. In cases where a patient absolutely must be transported straight to the hospital, they are the only option, but in many other cases, this is not absolutely necessary, and in those cases, it’s generally considered a superior approach to use fixed wing aircraft of varying sizes, but this depends on the needs of the patient and the distance of the flight.

Of the various air ambulance services offered, the least serious type is the Medical Air Escort. This is a non emergency service where the injured person is booked on a standard flight and assigned one or more medical personnel as an in flight escort in the event of a medical emergency en route, and to see to the patient’s needs until his or her arrival at the medical facility. Two conditions need to apply for this type of transport to be applicable. First, a travel distance in excess of 250 miles, and second, the patient’s condition cannot be considered an emergency (this is urgent care transport, not emergency care transport).

For patients who are severely injured and in need of transport in excess of 250 miles, Air Ambulance Services are appropriate. In these cases, ambulatory services to the (fixed wing) aircraft will be provided, and additional ambulatory services from the landing site to the hospital in question. It should be noted that the personnel serving aboard Air Ambulances typically receive much more training, and are better able to handle different kinds of emergency scenarios than the personnel manning ground based transports. These are the very best of the best, and with good reason. Only very serious cases requiring specialized treatment are in need of such services.

In certain extremely serious cases, Dedicated Air Ambulance Services might be required. These are specially designed aircraft, pressurized and equipped with all necessary medical equipment and supplies, depending on the exact nature of the patient’s injuries and condition. In cases where such transport is deemed necessary, the patient’s attending physician is very much a part of the process, and where possible (depending on the patient’s needs and weight/space allowances, family members and their luggage may be allowed to come along with the patient.

The hope is that you’ll be blessed with good health and never have need of emergency air transport services of any kind, but if you do, it bears understanding that there are different types of air transport services available, and they’re not all created equally. In some extremely dire circumstances, it may make sense for an airlift straight to the roof of the nearest hospital with the equipment to treat you. In other cases, it may make more sense to have an escort on a commercial flight. In still others, the proper answer might be a fixed wing aircraft outfitted with all the gear needed to best see to your needs.

The important thing to know is that there are companies specializing in all of these, and they can help you and your loved ones make the right decision, should the need ever arise.