How Air Travel Delays Affect Air Medical Transport
‘Tis the season for air travel delays, which can affect worldwide air ambulance transfers just as they do commercial flights. The most common cause of travel delays this time of year is, of course, weather. When there’s a blizzard at the Denver airport and visibility is too poor for airplanes to land there, that affects air travel across the country (even in Phoenix where it’s 65 degrees) – as planes are re-routed to land at other airports and prevented from departing from other locations going to Denver.
It’s easy to imagine, and it’s true, that when weather prohibits planes from landing or taking off at a commercial airport, private planes at the FBO or local private airport will also not be allowed to land or take off. The fact is that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in charge of managing all commercial and private air travel in the U.S., wants to ensure that air travel is safe – and will hold planes on the ground or divert them to another airport if weather makes it unsafe to take off or land.
MedFlight911 Air Ambulance is prepared
One of the most important reasons to use an air ambulance service for a patient with a medical condition or a patient in medical distress is because of our ability to give that patient medical care while we wait if there are delays. Think of the experience of sitting around the airport (or on the tarmac) for hours on end (pretty terrible, right?): that kind of waiting can be dangerous for a patient with medical needs if he or she doesn’t have a medical care provider along with.
But with an air ambulance, we have a number of options to keep the patient safe and comfortable. One, if we know well enough in advance of the delay, we’ll keep the patient at the discharging facility (the medical facility where he or she is currently at) until we have a good idea that we’ll be able to depart soon. If we don’t have that kind of lead time, the air ambulance is fully equipped with medical supplies and equipment to keep the patient safe and comfortable while we wait, and the medical flight crew will be with the patient at all times.
Even when a patient chooses to fly commercial (because he or she is stable enough to do so and determines in consult with his or her care provider that commercial is the right option), hiring an air medical escort is often a very wise decision. The air medical escort is a paramedic, critical care nurse, or physician who travels with the patient on the commercial flight to ensure that the patient stays safe and comfortable.
We cannot, of course, predict or prevent delays in air travel (much as we would like to!), and that’s true for commercial air travel as well as private air ambulance flights. But with an air medical transport provider like MedFlight911 Air Ambulance who is equipped and staffed to provide medical care for patients in even the most acute medical distress, you can at least be sure the patient is as safe and comfortable as possible.