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Our Service Begins With You

At MedFlight911, we offer this promise to each and every one of our valued clients: "Our Service Begins with You."

That means from the moment you call our office we will:

  • Go above and beyond to help and serve you.
  • Make the process simple, easy and worry-free.
  • Take care of every detail so you don't have to.
  • Act as your partner and advocate throughout the process.
  • Treat your patient / loved one like family.
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MedFlight911 Blog

MedFlight911 Air Ambulance Working to Make Case Managers' Jobs Easier

At MedFlight911, air ambulance transports are one of our specialties.  Most commonly, our patients are coming from a hospital or another in-patient setting and traveling to receive additional medical or convalescence care.  We often help families to schedule medical transport, but just as often, we are dealing with case managers and social workers to arrange air medical transport.

When Kim, a Patient Care Manager at a dementia-specific assisted living center, contacted us recently about transportation for a patient of hers, we were glad to assist.  We understand that case managers and medical social workers are incredibly busy.  Working at facilities that accept patients around the clock creates an instant backlog of work the second a case manager walks through the door in the morning.

At MedFlight911, we strive to make the job of care managers easier by managing the air medical transport details for you while arranging for professional and medically competent care for your patients.  Since many care managers aren’t aware of all the services that go into carrying out a successful transport with MedFlight911, I thought I’d use this story to illustrate how we help.

Kim had been working with the patient’s family for over a month.  The family was interested in transporting their mother to a care facility in Florida.  However, they were reluctant to make the final decision.  Kim contacted us to find out answers to the family’s questions and, honestly, get some help in motivating the family to make their decision sooner than later.  Some of Kim’s questions were simple: Do you cover my client’s location and are you available for the trip?  Some questions were more specific: Why should I refer my client’s family to your air ambulance company and how will you help the family make the move?

Because we provide worldwide air ambulance services, we knew we could help this family.  And, since our schedule works on your client’s schedule, we knew that whenever the family was ready to move, we could help.  In this case, once we spoke with the family and reassured them of how well their mother would be cared for in transport, they were able to make the decision to go.

We often find families get bogged down by fear of the unknown.  There are so many hoops to jump through: medical protocol varies across airlines, airlines delays can be detrimental to travel, and there can be a significant expense involved.  However, jumping over these hurdles is MedFlight911’s greatest strength.  In fact, we could win an Olympic Gold medal in the sport.

We have more than 30 years of experience in coordinating medical transports.  We know how to create the right transportation strategy for your client’s needs.  We anticipate obstacles and issues before they arise.  And, we understand the challenges of being a case manager.  We will strive to make your job easier while treating every patient as if they are members of our own family.  Kim’s experience in this case reflects that.  She said, “It is a very busy community that I am in and for MedFlight911 to have taken the responsibility of every detail of the transport was tremendous.  I could never have done what MedFlight911 did.  This was a moving target of a family…and it was awesome that I didn’t have to chase it.”

We know that as an air ambulance provider, we’re just one step in the chain of patient care.  We understand the importance of case managers in coordinating patients’ care and want to help make your job easier.  This is the first in a new series of blog posts specifically for case managers, so let us know your questions regarding medical air transport.

MedFlight911 Air Ambulance on Working Your Way through the VA

As an air ambulance provider, we are proud of our ability to assist in caregiving in a specific way at a crucial time. However, the journey of caregiving is long and requires aid from a variety of sources. In previous blogs we have discussed resources such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Stepping Stones of Hope and hospice.

There are many other resources available to caregivers, but consistently, the caregiver resource that brings the most confusion is the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, formerly and still commonly called the Veteran’s Administration or the VA. Caregivers often have many questions regarding services, eligibility, and how to prove eligibility after “that fire.” Here are some answers to help you make your way through the VA system – to get the benefits you or your loved one need.

What services does the VA provide?

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs has three main subdivisions:

  1. Veterans Health Administration, which is responsible for providing health care in all forms. The VA operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,400 sites including hospitals, clinics, community centers, counseling centers and other facilities.
  2. Veterans Benefits Administration is responsible for initial veteran registration, eligibility determination and Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Education (GI Bill) and Compensation & Pension.
  3. National Cemetery Administration provides burial and memorial benefits.

Who is eligible for services?

This is the most common question asked about VA benefits – am I eligible? Eligibility for most VA benefits is based on discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Generally, men and women veterans with similar service may be entitled to the same VA benefits.

Eligibility for health care benefits is limited to those who served in active military, naval or air service and who were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable discharge. Reservists and National Guard members may also qualify. Upon enrollment, veterans are assigned to a priority group to help the VA balance demand. There are 8 different priority groups; division into groups is determined by medical need, disability, and income. For example, a veteran with 50% or higher service-connected disability is a Group 1 and is provided comprehensive care and medication at no charge.

Qualification for certain VA benefits requires the veteran to have served during wartime. The VA recognizes these war periods:

  • World War I: April 6, 1917 through November 11, 1918. For veterans who served in Russia, April 6, 1917 through April 1, 1920.
  • World War II: December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946.
  • Korean War: June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955.
  • Vietnam War: August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975. For veterans who served in Vietnam, the beginning date is February 28, 1961.
  • Gulf War: August 2, 1990 through a not yet determined end date.

How do I receive benefits?

A veteran seeking benefits for the first time must submit a copy of his or her service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215 or WD form). This form should document the service dates and type of discharge or give the veteran’s full name, military service number, branch, and dates of service.

For family members seeking benefits, the following documents are required:

  • Veteran’s marriage certificate for claims of a surviving spouse or children
  • Veteran’s death certificate (if the veteran died in a VA care facility, a death certificate is not needed)
  • Children’s birth certificates or adoption papers to determine children’s benefits
  • The veteran’s birth certificate to determine parents’ benefits

What about that fire?

When discussing veteran’s benefits the second most common question is “What if my records were lost in that fire?” “That fire” refers to a 1973 fire at the National Archives and Records Administration which caused the loss of approximately 16-18 million military personnel records. The records of 80% of U.S. Army personnel discharged between 1912 and 1960 and 75% of Air Force personnel discharged from 1947 to 1964 were lost and no duplicate copies existed. So, what does a veteran do if their records were lost in the fire?

  • If the veteran or beneficiary filed a claim before 1973, the VA should have records
  • Service information can often be found in organizational records including unit morning reports, payroll or military orders on file at the NPRC
  • Sometimes records can be obtained through the state veteran services offices

Dealing with an organization the size of the VA can be daunting. Keep careful notes, make copies of all records and never give away your original copy.

As an air medical transport provider, we provide a crucial service for caregivers at a very specific time. There are many other resources available to aid caregivers on their journey. Our goal in writing caregiver resources blog posts is educate you on available resources. Please let us know if you have any questions or issues you would like us to address.

Air Medical Transport: Improving Healthcare Access in Rural America

It may be hard to imagine if you live in a big city or suburban area, but if you become sick or are seriously injured in many parts of the U.S., you might need to rely on an air ambulance to get the treatment you need. As the number of rural hospitals shrinks, many patients who live in underserved areas and need a higher level or more specialized facility for care have no choice but to travel elsewhere for treatment. It's simply part of the new reality of healthcare in America, and it illustrates the critical role that MedFlight911 and other air ambulance services play in the delivery of that care.

Take the story of Sam, an 11-year-old boy living in rural Nebraska. Sam seemed active and healthy, but one day he developed serious shortness of breath during an after-school basketball game. His parents took him to the local hospital in their small town. The doctors there examined Sam, and during an X-ray they saw a large mass on his lung. They knew the situation was serious, and that Sam probably needed treatment right away. But the staff at the local hospital also realized that they simply weren't equipped to provide the kind of care Sam was likely to need. So they recommended that Sam be moved to a children's hospital in Omaha, where they had specialists who could diagnose and care for him.

The case manager at the hospital called us and we explored a range of medical transport options for Sam.  Transport by ground medical motor coach wasn’t an appropriate option because it would have taken too long to travel from Sam’s hometown hospital to the children’s hospital in Omaha.  Traveling by commercial airline with a medical escort wasn’t an option because we were all concerned that Sam could have significant respiratory distress at any time and the medical escort couldn’t bring the proper equipment aboard the commercial plane to adequately take care of Sam in that situation.  So, we all agreed that an air ambulance was the best medical transport option.

An air medical transport was quickly arranged. Sam was in Omaha the next day, where doctors at the hospital diagnosed him with cancer. It wasn't news anyone wanted to hear. But because an air ambulance was able to get Sam to the children's hospital right away, doctors were able to move fast with their treatment, which greatly improved Sam's odds of survival. Sam's not out of the woods yet. But thanks to the expert care he's receiving in Omaha, and the swift response from the air ambulance team, things are looking up.

Sam's story is just one example of how air medical transport helps saves lives. Connecting patients with the care they so desperately need is what MedFlight911 does, and we're very proud of that. We think it would be great if every rural hospital and healthcare center had the resources to treat every kind of patient. But the fact is, that's simply not possible. Instead, we're there to get patients to the places that do have those resources, whether it's a pediatric cancer center, a hospital equipped to treat traumatic brain injury patients, a burn treatment center, or other specialized facility. Our job is to provide the kind compassionate, patient-friendly transport that people need during tough times.    

To learn more about MedFlight911's air medical transport services, give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air ambulance quote here.

Air Medical Transport: The Commercial Air Medical Escort Process Explained

At MedFlight911, air ambulance transports are one of our specialties. But not every patient needs an air ambulance; sometimes they just need a helping hand (with medical expertise) to get them to where they need to be. That's what we offer with our commercial air medical escort service.

Anyone who has flown on a commercial airline in the past few years knows how stressful this form of travel can be. Now, just imagine trying to navigate the whole process – from checking luggage to security screening to boarding and deplaning – if you have a medical condition. It probably sounds pretty overwhelming, and it often is. For patients who are medically stable but need assistance while traveling, an air medical escort could be the answer. Here's how the process works.

Step 1: Escort arrives at the departing facility. MedFlight911's air medical escort meets the patient at her bedside. The escort, typically a nurse or paramedic, spends some time getting to know the patient and assessing her condition. The escort will also talk to the patient's nurse or doctor and answer and questions the patient or her family may have. Then, the escort and the patient (as well as any accompanying passengers) depart for the airport.

(Alternatively, the patient and any accompanying passengers may meet the medical escort at the airport.)

Step 2: Arrival at the departure airport. Once the escort and patient (as well as any accompanying passengers) arrive at the airport, any luggage will be gathered and the patient will be transferred to an airport wheelchair. A wheelchair attendant will accompany the entire party to the TSA screening checkpoint.

Step 3: Security screening.
At the security checkpoint, the patient, escort, and any accompanying passengers will proceed through a much smoother and quicker process than the standard security screening. Passengers will be scanned with a handheld device and luggage will be X-rayed. Standard TSA restrictions apply as far as carry-on luggage, but the escort will have documentation allowing the patient to carry on any necessary medications or medical supplies.

Step 4: Boarding. Next, we proceed to the boarding gate. Passengers who need assistance are typically allowed to board first. We'll also be flying first class, so transferring the patient to the plane is a smooth process. The escort will see to it that that the patient is comfortably settled into his or her seat and ready to depart.

Step 5: In flight. Once the flight departs, the escort is completely focused on the patient's care and well-being. The escort will monitor the patient for any changes during flight and address any problems that may arise. The medical escort will also help the patient with meals and personal hygiene routines as necessary.

Step 6: Arrival at destination airport. Upon arrival, we'll wait until all the other passengers deplane. Then the escort will transfer the patient to a wheelchair and assist him or her down the jetway.

Step 7: Arrival at final destination. The patient and escort will be met at the baggage claim by a ground transportation crew, who will take them to their final destination.

For non-emergency medical transport, commercial air medical escort might be a good option. To find out more about our commercial medical escort services, give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation commercial air medical transport quote here.  And, stay tuned in coming weeks for some great air medical escort stories.

The Medical Motor Coach Transport Process Explained

For patients who are stable and aren't in need of emergency transportation via air ambulance, medical transport via motor coach might be a good option. Transport via a medically equipped motor coach is often more comfortable and less expensive than traveling via an air ambulance or even commercial air medical escort. Since most people aren't familiar with the idea of traveling on a medically equipped coach, I thought I’d outline the steps in a typical motor coach transport.

Step 1: The coach, driver(s), and medical crew arrive at the departing facility

MedFlight911 provides bedside-to-bedside service on most of our transports. That means that our medical crew (which typically consists of a nurse and/or a paramedic) is with the patient from the moment they leave the departing facility to when they arrive at the receiving facility. When the driver(s) and the medical crew first arrive at the departing facility, they'll spend a few minutes getting to know the patient and any accompanying family members and answering their questions. That way, everyone is comfortable and informed before we begin the trip.

Step 2: We transfer the patient to the medical motor coach

Our crew will use a wheelchair or stretcher to transfer the patient to the medically equipped coach, where they'll either travel in a bed in the motor coach stateroom or in one of the passenger chairs (the final decision about seating arrangements is up to the medical crew). We'll also stow any luggage in the coach's storage compartments and demonstrate all the features and functions of the coach to any passengers who will be travelling with the patient.

Step 3: We get on the road

Once the journey begins, the MedFlight911 medical crew is completely focused on caring for the patient. Our motor coaches are comfortable and spacious, and the patient and passengers are free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery along the way to their destination. During longer trips, we'll stop to pick up catered meal(s), and snacks and drinks will be available on the motor coach. If it's a long trip, there will be two drivers to switch off, so that we can get you to your destination as quickly as possible (without having to stop for the driver to rest).

Step 4: We arrive at the receiving facility

When we reach our ultimate destination, our medical crew will transfer the patient from the medical motor coach to the receiving facility and unload any baggage. The MedFlight911 crew will then make sure the patient is comfortably settled in the new location and communicate with the staff at the receiving facility to let them know about any concerns or issues regarding the patient.

Medical motor coach transportation may be a good option if you need non-emergency medical transport. You can find out more about MedFlight911's medical transport services by giving us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation medical transport quote here.

My Insurance Won't Pay for an Air Ambulance. What Now?

In a perfect world, every air ambulance transport would be covered by the patient's insurance. But unfortunately, that's just not the case. Often, I find myself speaking with patients and families who've had their request for air medial transport denied by an insurance company, for whatever reason. For families, the denial of coverage can be heartbreaking and leave them confused about where to turn next.

Fortunately, even if an insurance company won't pay for a transport, all hope is not lost. At MedFlight911, we'll go through all the possible options with you to see that your loved one gets the transport they need. Steps we'll take may include:

  1. Contacting the insurance company. Sometimes, persistence pays off. Our team will work with the patient’s insurance company to try to get the transport covered. This doesn't work in all cases, of course, but it's a good first step. In the case of Kim Alvarez, for example, all working together, we were able to get the insurance company to fully cover Kim’s air ambulance flight to the brain injury rehab facility.
  1. Presenting the most affordable transport option. Our patients come first at MedFlight911. We'll consider all possible transport options and present you with the one that is the most cost effective, based on the patient’s condition. For example, in some cases ground medical transport (which is typically more affordable than air transport) may meet the patient's needs and ease the financial burden on the family.
  1. Providing a clear estimate for cost services. At MedFlight911, we pride ourselves on transparency. When we provide you with a quote, that number represents what you'll actually be charged – we don't have hidden fees or surcharges. Of course, sometimes the nature of the air medical transport changes after we prepare the initial quote, which could change the cost of the trip, but if that happens we'll explain the change to you and discuss all of your options.

While it's not always feasible, we also recommend that people plan ahead when they can. No one wants to think about getting hurt or sick on an international vacation, for example, but you absolutely need look into your insurance policy to see if it covers medical evacuations – before you depart! Depending on the coverage you have, it may be well worth it to purchase travel insurance, just in case.

A medical transport policy like the ones provided by Medjet Assist (who we’ve worked with before) may also be a smart buy if you live far away from close family who you'd want to be close to in the event of an emergency. Of course, if you are purchasing insurance specifically to get air ambulance coverage, make sure you read the terms carefully. Some policies may have restrictions, and it's good to know what those are in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

If you think you might need air medical transport, contact us today at 888-359-1911. We can discuss your needs and also provide you with a no-obligation air medical transport quote.


The Problem with Treating Air Ambulance Patients as Consumers

Lately, there's been a lot of talk in the healthcare industry about treating patients, including air ambulance patients, as consumers. In other words, patients are being encouraged to take a more active and informed role in their healthcare decisions, with medical professionals seen as providers who are selling a service.

What does that mean for an air ambulance provider like MedFlight911? More informed patients is a great goal – one we fully support. But as we move toward thinking of the patient as a consumer, it's also important to keep in mind that the patient is a person first, and a consumer second.

At MedFlight911, our patients are more than just clients – they're like family. From the moment a patient or family member calls and speaks with one of our air medical transport specialists, we put their needs first. Our job is to make the medical transport process straightforward, handling all the details so that our clients have less to worry about during an already stressful time.

Why is it important to realize that a patient is more than just a consumer? Consider this excerpt from an opinion piece by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman:

"Medical care, after all, is an area in which crucial decisions – life and death decisions – must be made. Yet making such decisions intelligently requires a vast amount of specialized knowledge. Furthermore, those decisions often must be made under conditions in which the patient is incapacitated, under severe stress, or needs action immediately, with no time for discussion, let alone comparison shopping."

At MedFlight911, we understand that patients and their families aren't in a position to act as if they were car shopping. They may be scared, stressed, and confused, and they need more than just medical transport – they need support from skilled professionals who they can trust. That's why we see ourselves as more than just an air medical transport service provider, and our clients as more than just consumers.

Take for example a patient we transported by air ambulance recently. She had been seriously injured in a car accident; the doctors at her current hospital had been able to treat and stabilize her but she had to be transferred to another facility to receive the specialized care she needed to fully recover. When her family contacted us to arrange a transport, they had many questions, and we worked closely with them to get them the answers they needed. At the same time, we also took the lead in communicating with both the departing and receiving facilities in order to ensure a smooth trip for the patient. We did everything we could to make the transport process as simple as possible, so that the patient and her family were able to concentrate on what really mattered to them – her recovery.

That kind of one-on-one, personalized service is at the core of the services MedFlight911 provides. When you choose to work with us, you’re getting more than just an air ambulance medical transport. You're also getting a relationship with people who will serve as your partner and advocate through the entire transport process. Our service begins with you.

You can find out more about MedFlight911's air ambulance services in our earlier blog posts, or go ahead and give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation transport quote here.

What Are an Air Ambulance Medical Crew's Qualifications?

On most MedFlight911 air ambulance flights, the medical crew consists of at least two people: a critical care nurse and a critical care paramedic.  Sometimes there is also a doctor, a respiratory therapist, and/or other specialist, depending on the patient’s particular needs. That medical flight crew is responsible for the patient from the moment they begin their journey with us to the time they arrive at their final destination.

With so much riding on their shoulders, it's critical that our crew has the expertise to respond to whatever situation may arise. And not only do our flight nurses need to be familiar with all standard nursing procedures, but they also must be able to care for patients in the unique air ambulance environment – an extra challenge.

Air ambulance flight crew training is key

Because the air ambulance medical crew works with a wide variety of patients, including newborns, pregnant women, cardiac patients, organ transplant patients, children, and the elderly, they need skills and training in all areas of critical care nursing and paramedics. Every member of the MedFlight911 air medical crew must meet certain qualifications; we all have certifications in, at the least:

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP)
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS)

Our flight nurses may also have the following advanced certifications:

  • Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN)
  • Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
  • Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN)
  • Transport Nurse Advance Trauma Course (TNATC)

Each of our critical care nurses and paramedics also receives altitude physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, and survival training, and they learn how to recognize flight stressors, manage oxygen therapy during a transport, and use the specialized medical equipment that's found on our air ambulances.

Finally, because we want our medical crew to be up-to-date on the latest treatment approaches, we also require regular continuing education (100 hours per year, in fact) as well as advanced training in areas like hazardous materials recognition and response, infection control, emergency care, invasive procedures (such as intubations), and labor and delivery.

The medical crew must be adaptable

As a critical care flight nurse or paramedic, you’re responsible for treating a range of patients with a range of medical issues, so adaptability is key.  Our medical crew can respond to a range of situations, including burn, cardiac, neonatal, environmental and respiratory emergencies, and pediatric trauma.  Even during the trip situations can, and often do arise that require flexibility and adaptability that require the kind of experience and training our medical crew has.

So being an air ambulance nurse or paramedic isn't a job for the faint of heart. Our medical transport team members face high-stress situations on a daily basis. But because of their skills and experience, they're able to do their jobs like the pros they are. At MedFlight911, we make sure our flight nurses and paramedics have the training they need to provide care in the unique air ambulance environment, because we know that's what it takes to best serve our patients.

You can find out more about MedFlight911's air ambulance services in our earlier blog posts, or go ahead and give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation transport quote here.


Preventing Suicide: Information for Caregivers from MedFlight911 Air Ambulance

At MedFlight911, we provide assistance to caregivers and patients when they need air ambulance services. Many of our patients will require convalescent or hospice care and many have caregivers tending to their needs. As a result, we feel very strongly about helping caregivers with their needs. In previous blogs, we have discussed caregiver stress, depression, and burnout. Today, we will be discussing suicide.

Caregiving does not cause suicide, nor does it directly lead to it. However, caregivers are at increased risk for depression and burnout which can increase their risk factors for suicide. In fact, risk factors for caregiver depression and burnout, such as social isolation and serious physical and mental illness, are the same risk factors as for suicide.

More common than you think

Suicide is the sixth leading cause of death for all Americans and the 13th leading cause of death worldwide. On average, one suicide occurs every 16 minutes. According to Suicide.org, there are 750,000 suicide attempts and 33,000 suicide deaths each year.

Warning signs

  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
  • Violent actions or rebellious behavior
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Neglect of personal appearance
  • Marked personality change
  • Persistent boredom or difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities
  • Giving away favorite possessions, jewelry, pets, or money

What to do if you think a loved one is suicidal

Be direct. Ask the person directly if he or she is having suicidal thoughts, has a plan and has access to means. Asking someone if they have considered suicide will not put ideas into their head. Rather it will reduce their anxiety and give them an outlet. It will also give you information that indicates how strongly they have considered suicide.

Listen. Allow them to express their feelings without judgment. Accept their feelings. Their feelings are neither good nor bad, just feelings. Do not act shocked by their thoughts, this will only create emotional distance

Look for red flags for suicidal behavior indicated by the phrase “IS PATH WARM?”

  • Ideation – Threatened or communicated?
  • Substance Abuse – Excessive or increased?
  • Purposeless – No reason for living?
  • Anxiety – Agitation/insomnia?
  • Trapped – Feeling there is no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawing – From friends, family and society
  • Anger – Uncontrolled, rage, or seeking revenge
  • Recklessness – Risky acts, unthinking
  • Mood Changes

Take action. If you think the person might harm themselves, do not leave them alone. Remove any pills or guns. Recognize that you cannot single-handedly keep someone alive. Say, “I’m going to get you some help.” Then seek assistance from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

What to do if you are thinking about suicide

Get help! Remember that suicide is final – once it’s done, there is no changing your mind. If you are feeling suicidal, you are in more pain than you know how to handle. There are ways to reduce the pain and better methods of dealing with it. You can learn both. Let someone help you.

For assistance, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.272.TALK (8255). To find a crisis center nearby you, click here.


Elements of a Successful Air Ambulance Medical Transport

"What do you do to make sure that the patient’s air ambulance flight goes smoothly?" That's a question I often get from patients and their families, so I thought I'd take the time to review a few of the key elements of a successful air medical transport at MedFlight911.

A key element of a successful air medical transport is choosing and preparing the proper aircraft

When you call us for a no-obligation transport quote the medical information you provide about the patient will help us begin to plan for the proper aircraft (or other form of medical transport). At MedFlight911 we take a customized, individualized approach to medical transport (not a “one-size-fits-all” approach), so the form of transport we recommend – whether it’s a jet air ambulance, a commercial air medical escort, or a medical motor coach – is the one that best fits the patient’s needs.

Another key element of a successful transport: the right air ambulance equipment

At least 24 hours before the scheduled trip, we contact the patient's doctor at the departing facility to learn more about the patient's condition, vital signs, recent lab or other test results, concerns or potential problems. We use that information to ensure that our medical flight crew arrives prepared with the right medical equipment to keep the patient stable throughout the transport.

Each of our planes features an array of medical equipment, such as FAA-approved medical stretchers, defibrillators, ventilators, IV pumps, and critical care medications. Depending on the patient's specific condition and the recommendations of the doctor, we can also equip the air ambulance with additional specialized equipment, such as a fetal heart and tocodynamometer (toco) monitor for pregnant patients or ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for patients with severe heart and lung problems. Being prepared with the right equipment allows our medical team to deal with the issues that may arise while in transit.

Having the right air medical transport crew is a key success factor

While the right form of transport and the right equipment are critical, it is the medflight air ambulance crew that really determines the success of the transport. That’s why MedFlight911 works with only the most experienced medical professionals and requires ongoing training. Our medical crew have special knowledge of the unique air ambulance environment (such as how shifts in altitude may affect a patient's health) and they are prepared to respond quickly to any changes in the patient's condition during flight. They've also been trained to deal with a range of high-risk medical situations, such as burns, pediatric trauma, multi-trauma situations, cardiac emergencies and respiratory emergencies, and they have certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) and other areas.

Throughout the flight, our crew is able to focus exclusively on the patient because they're supported by the transport coordinators in the MedFlight911 home office. Those air medical transport coordinators are the ones who handle any behind-the-scenes issues that may arise during the transport (such as last minute changes at the receiving facility), which leaves the medical crew free to take care of their patient without any distractions. That means that the patient is able to get to their destination quickly and safely – the ultimate goal for everyone involved.

You can find out more about MedFlight911's air ambulance services in our earlier blog posts, or go ahead and give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation transport quote here.

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MedFlight911: Get your Air Medical transport started right now - Request a Transfer.



  • Katlin E. OR | Patient

    MedFlight911, I wanted to thank all of you for helping me and my twin boys with our medical transports. Although the trip felt like it was just minutes in length,
  • J. T. KY

    MedFlight911 is fantastic! There is a genuine interest in the customer and the family. Communication was informative.
  • F. Z. CA

    We appreciated MedFlight911's professional service from beginning to end. You delivered a high-quality, smooth and friendly service not only to my father but also to our whole family.
  • R. N. Venezula

    One more time I would really like to thank you and your crew for all the help getting my father to Houston.
  • A. R. Brussels

    At this level, one firm among those mentioned above, was offering noticeably a best quote: Medflight911.
  • S. L. CA

    Thank you for your hard work and tireless effort in getting my father back to CA. I truly appreciated MedFlight911's capabilities in getting him safely back to his home.
  • J. S. CA

    Dear WONDERFUL folks, First of all our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for the professional and compassionate way in which you have embraced our inquiries into your services. Thank you for all
  • L. C. TX

    Just a note to say thanks for all that you did for our family this past week. MedFlight911 went way over board in helping with JT's transport.
  • H. W. GA

    MedFlight911's service was Excellent! I would highly recommend MedFlight911 to anyone. The planning was seamless.
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