Whether it’s the result of an accident, illness, or some other occurrence, many people find themselves in need of medical transport. While many will immediately think of standard ground ambulances, this is not always the most appropriate choice.
In most cases, a patient who suffers a traumatic or medical condition will be transported by a ground ambulance. These vehicles are equipped to provide emergency and non-emergency care during transport. Often thought of as a single type of transport, there are actually different types of ambulances, including those based on a heavy truck chassis-cab with a specialty rear module, heavy-duty van types, van chassis-cabs with custom-made rear compartment, and smaller utility vehicles capable of reaching areas that larger vehicles cannot.
At times, a patient will need to be transported by airplane, but if their needs are comparatively minor, it may suffice to have an airline medical escort who can provide non-emergency travel assistance. In this sort of situation, the patient may be able to travel normally, but experience some difficulty doing so. An airline medical escort may be suitable for patients with reduced mobility or orthopaedic issues. Others who would benefit from an airline medical escort include cancer patients, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and others with special needs.
During those times when transporting a patient requires a little more care than a simple escort, a flight nurse companion may be advisable. These nurses are trained to provide emergency medical care that may mean the difference between life and death for their patient.
Flight nurses will normally work for public or private hospitals or clinics while also being part of a medical transport operation. Their care allows for patients to be transferred between facilities. This may involve bringing a patient to a location where they can receive better or more specialized medical care, but may also include medical repatriation, working with organ donation, and more.
Those who fly accompanied by a flight nurse companion are, generally speaking, in sufficiently good condition that they can take a normal airline seat. While they may have some difficulties, they are not so pronounced as to require additional accommodation by the airline.
Other times, a patient must be transported a long distance and require additional support as their condition is serious enough that a flight nurse companion cannot meet all of their needs. In these cases, a commercial stretcher may be warranted.
As the name implies, a commercial stretcher involves the installation of a medical stretcher on an otherwise normal passenger flight, accompanied by a medical team to accompany the patient.
Unlike other options that allow a patient to fly on a standard commercial flight, an air ambulance lives up to the name as an aircraft that has been professionally set up and equipped to function as a normal ambulance, albeit one that can fly.
Air ambulances, like commercial flights, can take patients across the country, or across the globe. They may be used to transfer a patient to a better facility, bring them to a specialist, or serve to aid in medical repatriation.
The crew accompanying the patient manages every detail of their care and their flight, keeping them safe and secure while also seeing to the details of air and ground transportation and the requirements of the flight.
Air ambulances offer the advantage of very fast medical response, even when accessing remote locations, and they are equipped to handle just about any situation that may arise, with equipment that may include breathing apparatus and monitoring systems, defibrillators, blood transfusion equipment, and a range of emergency medications.
While no one ever wants to deal with medical emergencies, it’s reassuring to know that there are many options available for the safe transport of patients, ensuring that they can get the care they need when they need it. Whether the patient needs to travel across town, across the country, or across the ocean, there is a means to get them where they are going in safety and comfort.
Our expert team is always available to discuss your air ambulance service