Who Needs an Air Ambulance?

air ambulance prepared for flight
We all hope that we never experience a trauma or medical emergency that requires treatment. Nobody ever thinks they’ll be forced to deal with a 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 need medical attention during transport, the method of travel involves an ambulance, but in specific cases, standard medical transportation is not enough. An air ambulance may be 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 need the use of an air ambulance.
If the patient’s doctor feels that the patient need not travel by air with conventional airlines due to their specific medical needs, the doctor will order travel by an air ambulance. Many companies and organizations exist to 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 go with the patient.
Here are some examples of medical conditions that may state a need to travel by air ambulance:
  • Patients suffering from respiratory conditions that need ventilators
  • trauma patients
  • patients with neurological conditions that need intra cranial monitoring
  • IABP patients that need balloon pumps
  • patients with multiple IV drips
  • transplant patients
  • obstetric patients requiring intensive care
  • NICU patients
The patients that need 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 transport a patient to their destination. Also, it is impossible to board a conventional flight with an entire medical staff and equipment. For this reason, doctors and patients choose to travel by air ambulance.
An air ambulance may be a helicopter,
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 necessary in the future. Patients who need 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.