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Air medical services is a comprehensive term covering the use of air transportation, airplane or helicopter, to move patients to and from healthcare uk...

Air medical services is a comprehensive term covering the use of air transportation, airplane or helicopter, to move patients to and from healthcare uk ambulance services clinical practice guidelines 2016 pdf and accident scenes. Personnel provide comprehensive prehospital and emergency and critical care to all types of patients during aeromedical evacuation or rescue operations aboard helicopter and propeller aircraft or jet aircraft. The use of air transport of patients dates to World War I, but its role was expanded dramatically during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The advantages of medical transport by helicopter may include providing a higher level of care at the scene of trauma and improving access to trauma centers.


Effective use of helicopter services for trauma depends on the ground responder’s ability to determine whether the patient’s condition warrants air medical transport. Protocols and training must be developed to ensure appropriate triage criteria are applied. Crew and patient safety is the single most important factor to be considered when deciding whether to transport a patient by helicopter.

Another reason for cancelling a flight is based on Flight Crew comfort with the flight. The general rule of safety is upon the crew, when there is one pilot and two medical crew is: 3 to go, 1 to say “NO”. If one Flight Member is not comfortable with the flight for whatever reason, the flight is cancelled. Some have questioned the safety of air medical services While the number of crashes may be increasing, the number of programs and use of services has also increased.

Factors associated with fatal crashes of medical transport helicopters include flying at night and during bad weather, and postcrash fires. An air ambulance is a specially outfitted helicopter, or fixed wing aircraft, that transports injured or sick people in a medical emergency or over distances or terrain impractical for a conventional ground ambulance.

Fixed wing aircraft are also more often used to move patients over long distances and for repatriation from foreign countries. These and related operations are called aeromedical.

In some circumstances, the same aircraft may be used to search for missing or wanted people. Like ground ambulances, air ambulances are equipped with medical equipment vital to monitoring and treating injured or ill patients.

Common equipment for air ambulances includes medications, ventilators, ECGs and monitoring units, CPR equipment, and stretchers. A medically staffed and equipped air ambulance provides medical care in flight—while a non-medically equipped and staffed aircraft simply transports patients without care in flight.

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