Deciding whether a patient needs air ambulance transport can be a tough decision, even for a doctor sometimes. In this realm, asking certain questions before deciding on air ambulance transport can help. Below are a few of them.
Does the condition warrant that patient spends least possible time out of hospital?
If the answer is yes, then the patient might be best suited for air ambulance transport as it is quicker than ground transport.
Is a time-sensitive facility unavailable in the current treating facility?
Certain lifesaving facilities or treatments might not be available in the hospital that is treating the patient at the current time. Air ambulance transport might become essential to carry the patient to the nearest medical center that has this facility.
Is the area only accessible through air ambulance transport?
Certain remote areas that have bad or no roads can only reached through air ambulance transport. Air ambulance choppers obviously are preferred during such cases.
Is the weather suitable for air ambulance transport?
The new FAA guidelines for air ambulance transport and the general safety concern for the crew prevents use of air ambulances when the weather conditions are unfavorable.
Is the weight of the patient, equipment and crew within permissible limit of air ambulance transport?
The permissibility of weight might also depend on the kind of aircraft that is available during the emergency. However, weight is a concern that must be addressed.
Is there an airport or helipad to land the air ambulance near the receiving facility?
If the landing facilities are not available, air ambulance transport might not at all be an option. Landing at a considerable distance and carrying the patient to the receiving facility through ground ambulance might defeat the purpose of using air ambulance transport.
Does the ground transport lack critical care support?
Air ambulances usually are extremely well equipped. If the ground ambulance lacks such support, then air ambulance transport might be the only option.
Will use of ground ambulance leave local area with inadequate emergency coverage?
If the answer is yes, then air medical transport might have to be opted so that the medical facility is prepared to meet other potential emergencies locally.
Answering these questions can help make split second decisions, which can mean the difference between life and death during emergencies.