Non Emergent Air Transport

Whenever air ambulances are mentioned, people tend to assume that they are used exclusively in a situation of life or death. This is a fair enough assumption, after all it is implied that an air ambulance is going to be far faster than one that goes on the ground, and so surely there is a reason for this.

And yes, there are definitely times when an air ambulance is used exclusively because the patient is in a life threatening situation. Maybe they have a major wound or injury that needs attention as soon as possible, or something in the environment is extremely threatening to their safety. In these situations an air ambulance is obviously going to be dispatched, simply because it is the quickest and most efficient way to ensure the patient’s safety.

But air ambulances are not always about speed. There are other reasons for using them too, even in situations where there is not a life at risk. Non emergent medical air transport, as it is called, can be dispatched when the patient is unable to move for example, even if they are not technically at risk. Someone who is older and has trouble with moving in general may fit into this category – where it is not necessarily an emergency but they do still need effective treatment.

Especially if someone needs complex surgery that definitely cannot be undertaken in any environment other than a hospital, non emergent air transport is again the best way to ensure that they get the treatment that the need in a timely manner, even if it is not an emergency.

Another simple thing is just that a patient may be in scenario where no other form of transport can reach them – if someone is stuck halfway up a mountain or in a clearing in a forest then an ambulance is not at all a practical way of getting to them – cue the helicopter. Obviously these kinds of scenarios are more likely to be emergency than not, but it is essential that people start to think about air ambulances in all the ways that they are used, not just the ones that are made popular in films and the like.

The final main way in which an air ambulance may be used in a non emergent way is when the journey from the location to the nearest hospital is not feasible via regular ambulance. Although the area that the patient is in may be entirely accessible, this does not mean that the terrain they have to travel through is also easily accessible.

Using a helicopter can then get the patient quickly and easily to the nearest hospital, regardless of whether time is truly of the essence or not – it can still make the difference between hours spend travelling and a matter of minutes. Whether these situations constitute emergencies is often up for debate, but in general it is clear that any time a person’s life is in danger and a time limit must be met, this is an emergency.