Why Might You Need Air Medical Transport?
When you think of an air ambulance, you might imagine dramatic rescue missions in dangerous locations, or a high-stakes emergency response after a major car crash. That's certainly an important part of what air medical transport companies do. But there are many other situations where people may need an air ambulance. Below, we've listed some of the different situations where people may need air medical transport.
Patients who have had a heart attack or stroke. Patients who are currently, or have just experienced a heart attack or stroke need emergency medical attention at the closest equipped emergency medical facility (like an ER) and are typically transported there in a ground ambulance or helicopter (rotor-wing air ambulance). However, for many patients, that first emergency facility is not the best place for them over the short-to-medium term, so they need a fixed-wing (airplane) air medical transport to a specialized facility.
Children with high-risk medical conditions. Unfortunately, children may not show signs of serious illness (such as cancer) until they need critical care. These patients may need to be transported via air to a hospital specializing in pediatric critical or intensive care.
Patients who need complicated surgery or treatment. People who need complicated surgery or other medical treatment may need to be moved from a less-specialized facility to another location. This could include people who've overdosed or been poisoned, those who need emergency dialysis, or people who've been in severe accidents.
Individuals in remote locations. While people who live in developed areas have relatively easy access to hospitals, there are still many isolated locations where medical care may be virtually non-existent. People who live or work in remote areas may rely on an air ambulance for life-saving medical treatment.
People who've suffered accidents or become ill abroad. People who suffer medical problems while traveling internationally may need air medical transport to return to their home country. If your condition is serious, flying home on a commercial airliner may simply not be an option. In other cases, the area you're visiting may lack adequate medical facilities. Whatever the situation, an air ambulance provider can see that you get back home safely so you can get the care you need.
People with serious, long-term illness. These patients may be in stable condition, but if they're bedridden or can't sit up for extended periods, they may not be able to fly on a commercial airline. Non-emergency air medical transport can help move someone from a nursing home, for example, to a facility that is closer to members of their extended family.
While we sincerely hope you never need to use an air ambulance, it does help to know about situations where one may be necessary. You can read more about the critical role air ambulance service plays in providing medical care in the U.S. in The History of the Air Ambulance –MedFlight911’s Current and Future Role.