Air Ambulances a Critical Link in the Organ Transplant Chain
Organ transplants are lifesavers for many critically ill people. But did you know that advanced air ambulances can play a vital role in making sure that patients get the organs that they so desperately need? For some patients who are on the waiting list for a organ transplant, having an air ambulance company like MedFlight911 air ambulance on call can mean the difference between receiving and not receiving an available organ.
To understand the role that an air ambulance provider plays in the organ transplant process, you need to understand how organs get to patients in need. Since there are far more people who need organs (whether it's lungs, a heart, or a kidney), transplant lists are long, and difficult decisions often have to be made about who gets an organ and who has to keep waiting. Patients who are waiting for an organ need to be ready at a moment's notice to travel to a hospital to receive a transplant. For a patient near an appropriate medical center, that may not be a huge burden. But for people located in less central locations, it may mean knowing which air ambulance company to call for long distance medical transport.
Patients who are waiting for a transplant need to develop a plan of action so that they will be able to respond quickly if they move to the top of the transplant list. They need to figure out how to get from their current location to the hospital where the transplant will be performed as fast as possible. Sometimes, a transplant coordinator at the hospital can help them make arrangements (including referring them to a worldwide air ambulance service). But in other cases, the patient is basically on their own. Those individuals need to identify all the resources available to them, whether it's traveling via automobile, commercial flight (perhaps accompanied by an air medical escort), ground ambulance, or international air ambulance.
Why is it so important to plan ahead? Because once a patient gets the call that an organ is available, they need to move fast. The organ is only viable for a relatively short amount of time, so for the transplant to be successful, the surgery needs to be done quickly. If you're simply driving an hour to your local world-class medical center, then you may not have to worry too much. But what if you need to fly from, say, rural Texas to Houston? You could arrange long distance medical transport via an air charter, though that plane won't come with medical personnel and won't be medically equipped, and booking a trip at the last minute could be a challenge. You could fly commercial, but with airlines cutbacks, you can't count on a flight or seat being available when you need it (and unless you've made advance arrangements, you may not be able to find an air medical escort to assist you on your journey). Air ambulances can fly at pretty much any time, but again, you need to plan in advance, since the first company you call may not have planes available when you need them.
So what is a potential transplant patient to do? Our advice is to plan for every contingency. When you have a window of just a few hours (sometimes as little as five) from when you receive a call that an organ's available to your arrival at the hospital, you need to be able to move quickly, whether or not it's via air ambulance. Make a list of options that could work for you, such as ground transportation, commercial flights, and advanced air ambulance. Gather contact information for multiple transport providers, and call them in advance to explain your situation and what you may need. For example, if you think you may need to travel via air ambulance, contact each air ambulance company on your list and tell them about your situation, where you may need to go, and your condition. That way, when you do get that call you've been waiting for, everyone will be more prepared for a successful journey.
Interested in learning more about MedFlight911's air ambulance services? Give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.