When you need to get to a hospital as quickly as possible, there’s no time for second-guessing. However, the decision to avail of air ambulance services is often left to the discretion of the treating medical professional. It is only when the service is deemed medically necessary that an air ambulance is summoned. In other words, you would have little choice in the matter. However, if you are planning an air ambulance travel for medical reasons that are not urgent in nature, here’s a guide that we have put together to help you choose the best air ambulance services.
When choosing an air ambulance service, it’s important to consider several factors:
- Distance to the hospital
- Cost of travel (including equipment)
- The quality of care offered by the hospital
- The type of ailment or illness you’re dealing with
- Whether or not you have any preexisting conditions that might complicate your situation
- Whether or not there are any special requirements
- How much it will cost you to get there in an air ambulance vs. getting there by ground transportation
Categorization of Air Ambulance Services
Air ambulance services are usually categorized by the type of emergency they serve. If your loved one needs help because of an injury or illness that can be treated in a hospital, then choose a ground ambulance service, which will transport them from the scene of the incident to the nearest hospital as fast as possible. If they’re suffering from something more serious like cardiac arrest or stroke, then an air ambulance service might be better because it can travel faster than ground ambulances and get your loved one treated quicker. Of course, it is something that you can only suggest to a medical care provider.
Another factor is whether or not you need a fixed-wing or rotorcraft service. Fixed-wing aircraft fly much faster than rotorcraft, so they’re more likely to get you where you need to go quickly. However, they also cost much more than rotorcraft services.
Rotorcraft services are typically cheaper than fixed-wing services, but they tend to take longer because of their slower speed. This can be an issue if someone is in critical condition and needs immediate medical attention.
There is also the question of how far away from the closest hospital the air ambulance will take you. Some companies will take their clients as far away as necessary while others will only take them within certain distances of the hospital they’re flying out of or into.