Air Ambulance

An air ambulance is an aircraft used for emergency medical assistance in situations where either a traditional ambulance cannot easily or quickly reach the scene or the patient needs to be repositioned at a distance where air transportation is most practical. Air ambulance crews are supplied with equipment that enables them to provide medical treatment to a critically injured or ill patient. Common equipment for air ambulances includes ventilators, medication, an ECG and monitoring unit, CPR equipment, and stretchers.

Air Ambulance Network provides a variety of Advanced Air Ambulance Transport Services from Critical Care to elective air medical transport. Services offered include; Private Air Ambulances including a wide range of aircraft from twin propeller to commerical jet airliners and everything in between.

Aircraft are equipped as flying mobile Intensive Care Units (ICU) and are capable of care for the most basic patient to the Critical Care patient. All aircraft are equipped with the most sophisticated advanced life support equipment to include; Zoll M Series 12 lead Cardiac monitor- defibrillator, full compliment of Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) drugs and all critical care medications and state of the art LTV 1200 series transport ventilator. Select aircraft are capable of being equipped with specialized equipment like Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP) and Neonate incubators and our baby pod.

Air Ambulance Network can provide a wide range of services that are customized to the patients’ medical requirement and financial considerations.

Aircraft and flight crews

In most jurisdictions air ambulance pilots are required to have a great deal of experience in piloting their aircraft because the conditions of air ambulance flights are often more challenging than regular non-emergency flight services. After a spike in air ambulance crashes in the United States in the 1990s, the US government and the Commission on Air Medical Transportation Systems (CAMTS) have stepped up the accreditation and air ambulance flight requirements, ensuring that all pilots, personnel, and aircraft meet much higher standards than what was previously required.[19] The resulting CAMTS accreditation, which applies only in the United States, includes the requirement for an air ambulance company to own and operate its own aircraft. Some air ambulance companies, realizing it is virtually impossible to have the correct medicalized aircraft for every mission, instead charter aircraft based on the mission-specific requirements.

Medical staffing

The medical crew of an air ambulance varies depending on country, area, service provider and by type of air ambulance. In those schemes operating under the Anglo-American model of service delivery, the helicopter is most likely to be used to transport patients, and the crew may consist of Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, flight nurses, a Respiratory Therapist, or in some cases, a physician. Those services with a primary focus on critical care transport are more likely to be staffed by physicians and nurses. In the Franco-German model, the aircraft is much more likely to be used as a method of delivering high-level support to ground-based EMS. In these cases, the crew generally consists of a physician, often a surgeon, anesthetist, trauma specialist or similar specialty, accompanied by a specially-trained advance care paramedic or nurse. In these cases, the object is the rapid delivery of definitive care, occasionally even performing emergency surgical procedures in the field, with the eventual transport of the patient being accomplished by ground ambulance, not the helicopter.

Medical control

The medical crew of an air ambulance varies depending on country, area, service provider and by type of air ambulance. In those schemes operating under the Anglo-American model of service delivery, the helicopter is most likely to be used to transport patients, and the crew may consist of Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, flight nurses, a Respiratory Therapist, or in some cases, a physician. Those services with a primary focus on critical care transport are more likely to be staffed by physicians and nurses. In the Franco-German model, the aircraft is much more likely to be used as a method of delivering high-level support to ground-based EMS. In these cases, the crew generally consists of a physician, often a surgeon, anesthetist, trauma specialist or similar specialty, accompanied by a specially-trained advance care paramedic or nurse. In these cases, the object is the rapid delivery of definitive care, occasionally even performing emergency surgical procedures in the field, with the eventual transport of the patient being accomplished by ground ambulance, not the helicopter.

Equipment and interiors

Most aircraft used as air ambulances, with the exception of charter aircraft and some military aircraft, are equipped for advanced life support, and have interiors that reflect this. The challenge in most air ambulance operations, and particularly with helicopters, are the high ambient noise levels and limited amounts of working space, both of which create significant issues for the provision of ongoing care. While equipment levels tend to be high, and very conveniently grouped, it may not be possible perform some assessment procedures, such as chest auscultation, while in flight. In some types of aircraft, the aircraft's design means that the entire patient will not be physically accessible in flight. Additional issues occur with respect to pressurization of the aircraft. Not all aircraft used as air ambulances in all jurisdictions have pressurized cabins, and those which do typically tend to be pressurized to only 10,000 feet above sea level. These pressure changes require advanced knowledge by flight staff with respect to the specifics of aviation medicine, including changes in physiology and the behaviour of gases.

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