Air Ambulance Services: What is an Air Ambulance?Aug 19, 2009
What is an air ambulance? No, an air ambulance isn't an ambulance that flies. It is simply a type of aircraft, which can be used to help people who are stuck in medically dangerous situations. These days, most air ambulances come in many forms from jets, prop planes, helicopters or choppers.
The whole concept of moving the critically injured by air was started, probably simultaneously, along with the fixed-wing aircraft flight concept. Shortly after the first airplane was successfully flown by the Wright brothers, two very important US Army medical officers, Lt. A. L. Rhodes and Capt. George H. R. Gosman designed the first airplane to transports patients to medical units.
The Preferred Air Emergency Service of the 21st Century
In most injury cases, the chances of medical help being a hop, skip and a jump away are very slim. When there is need for immediate medical attention, especially if it is specialized medical care, then an air ambulance is the preferred mode of medical transport.
However, transportation is not about the only use of an air ambulance! In the past, air ambulances have played very important roles in recovery and rescue missions. In such cases, these helicopters can hover over places where people have been injured and can help by pulling them up to safety.
Most air ambulances come fully equipped with important medical equipment, but do not generally carry large quantities of these equipment's. Since it is very important for a helicopter to fly lightly, air ambulances will be equipped with the bare minimum in medical supplies like CPR units, monitoring units and other emergency medical supplies. By doing so, critically wounded individuals can be tended to until they are transported to a better location for further treatment.
Advice and Information on Air Ambulance Services
Most air ambulance services provide operations that run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the country or internationally. A hospital advocate or patient will first contact the air ambulance operations center, where a flight coordinator will then determine the urgency and medical needs of the operation.
Once this is done, the operations center will then determine the type of ambulance that will be required. From helicopters to twin engine propellers to Lear jets, air ambulances are fully equipped with the all the latest supplies in medical transport equipment. Lear jets however, are the most common air ambulance aircraft's used because of their flexibility, reliability, range and flight comfort. They are generally better equipped for long distances than most other air ambulances.
A medical briefing will occur and then coordination of the ground staff will be established. Medical staff will then review the patient's history with the concerned physicians to ensure that the proper medical staff and equipment's are onboard. The air ambulance comes complete with medically trained staff, nurses, physicians and paramedics.
Patients will be transported from ground ambulances to the air ambulance stretcher. The attending nurse will then check the patient's vital signs prior to departing. After this, the patient will then be transported directly to the closest medical unit for further care.
Here are a couple of questions that you need to ask your prospective air ambulance service operator:
- Does the service provide a trained nurse?
- Is the stretcher FAA certified?
- Will medical oxygen be supplied to a patient in need of it?
- How are intravenous fluids hung?
- What kind of suction is provided?
- Is the medical director fully trained in all flight environment problems?
- What medical equipment's are carried?
- What emergency supplies and drugs are on board?
- Who arranges for ground transportation?
- Are medical records kept?
Air Ambulance Services: What is an Air Ambulance? Global Air Rescue.